Dutch Warship Sales to Indonesia Violate EU Code: Rapporteur

Dutch Warship Sales to Indonesia Violate EU Code: Rapporteur

By AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, BRUSSELS, June 3rd, 2005

Recent Dutch warship sales to Indonesia violate the European Union's code of conduct on exporting arms, Raul Romeva, the European Parliament's rapporteur on military exports, said on June 2.

"These projects clearly violate the code of conduct on arms exports, which prohibits arms supplies to unstable regions, countries in conflict and countries in which respect for human rights is disregarded," he said.

According to a statement from the Greens group in parliament, of which Romeva is a member, the Dutch government has authorized a national shipyard to build two small corvette warships for the Indonesian navy.

The project comes on top of an earlier order for two corvettes, and is valued at up to 800 million euros (980 million dollars). Another Dutch company is also modernizing a military vessel previously delivered to Indonesia.

"In the Aceh conflict in 2003 similar ships were used by the Indonesian authorities during coastal assaults. That issue has not been solved yet and Indonesia is meanwhile ravaged by internal conflicts," Romeva said.

Rebels in Aceh, Indonesia's westernmost province, have been fighting for independence for three decades. The conflict has left more than 12,000 dead. "It is shocking that so soon after the devastating tsunami an EU member state would encourage Indonesia to spend hundreds of millions of euros on new warships," Romeva said, referring to the December 26 quake-triggered disaster that killed nearly 300,000 people across the Indian Ocean.

He said other EU states are also supplying military equipment to Indonesia, which is a former Dutch colony.

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