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Wahid Dismisses Coup Speculation

February 3, 2000

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) _ Indonesia’s president on Thursday dismissed speculation of a coup following his dismissal of the country’s powerful military chief.

``We are in full control,″ said Abdurrahman Wahid, who was in the Netherlands, Indonesia’s former colonial ruler, as part of a European trip.

Wahid, the first democratically elected Indonesian leader in over 40 years, told Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok that he was keeping a close watch on the military.

``We know their moves, but we have to be careful of what they do,″ he said.

Rumors of a coup were rekindled after Wahid fired Gen. Wiranto, his Cabinet minister for security affairs, on Monday. The former army chief has ignored the orders and has attended Cabinet meetings as usual.

Wiranto and 32 other military officials were accused of crimes against humanity in East Timor in a government-commissioned report published Monday.

Wahid’s visit was the first official trip to the Netherlands by an Indonesian head of state in 30 years.

Thousands of Dutch citizens of Moluccan origin held a protest near Kok’s office, calling on Wahid to stop the violence in the Moluccas _ also known as the Spice Islands.

More than 2,000 people have died in the last year of violence between Christians and Muslims on the islands. About 40,000 Moluccans of both faiths live in the Netherlands.

``There needs to be somebody who gets up and says: ’That’s enough, it’s time to stop the violence,‴ said Anton Suitela, 48, whose brother disappeared after fighting in the region began. ``If not Wahid, then someone else, but he doesn’t seem capable.″

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