US: Indonesia defense chief not involved in abuses
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US: Indonesia defense chief not involved in abuses

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. says Indonesia’s army committed abuses when it was commanded by the former general newly appointed as defense minister but he was not personally implicated.

Indonesia’s new president unveiled his Cabinet this week, and rights activists have criticized the appointment of Ryamizard Ryacudu, a former army chief who led a large-scale military operation against separatist rebels in Aceh province in 2003.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Tuesday the U.S. is not aware “of any allegation that ties the defense minister explicitly to a specific human rights violation.”

She said Indonesia’s military has reformed significantly as Indonesia has transitioned to democracy in the past 16 years, and the U.S. expects the reform trend to continue.

U.S. assistance to Indonesian special forces was resumed in 2010.