|25th Indonesian Information Minister|
May 23, 1998 – October 26, 1999
|President||Bacharuddin Jusuf Habibie|
|Preceded by||Alwi Dahlan|
|Succeeded by||Position established|
August 7, 1944 |
Rappang, South Sulawesi, Japanese Occupation
|Spouse(s)||Hj. Antonia Ricardo|
|Children||Eric Akbar Ricardo Yunus
|Alma mater||Military Academy 1965|
Yunus Yosfiah, (also Muhammad Yunus Yosfiah, born 7 August 1944, Rappang, South Sulawesi, Indonesia, ethnicity: Bugis), is the most decorated member of the Indonesian army. Yosfiah served as Minister of Information in the Indonesian Government in 1998 and 1999.
Action in East Timor
In 1975, whilst a Captain leading an Indonesian special forces unit into Balibo, East Timor, it is alleged that Yosfiah opened fire on Australian based journalists attempting to surrender, and ordered his men to do the same. After being killed, some of the journalists' bodies were dressed in Portuguese army uniforms and photographed with machine guns as if they had been killed fighting against the Indonesian forces.
In February 2007 Mark Tedeschi QC, the counsel assisting the coroner at the inquest into the death of one of the journalists killed, Brian Peters, said Yosfiah had not responded to invitations to appear at the inquest. New South Wales Deputy State Coroner Dorelle Pinch in her finding found that: 'Brian Raymond Peters, in the company of fellow journalists Gary James Cunningham, Malcolm Harvie Rennie, Gregory John Shackleton and Anthony John Stewart, collectively known as “the Balibo Five”, died at Balibo in Timor- Leste on 16 October 1975 from wounds sustained when he was shot and/or stabbed deliberately, and not in the heat of battle, by members of the Indonesian Special Forces, including Christoforus da Silva and Captain Yunus Yosfiah on the orders of Captain Yosfiah, to prevent him from revealing that Indonesian Special Forces had participated in the attack on Balibo.' Several witnesses, including former operatives of the Timorese forces supporting the Indonesian invasion (UDT and Apodeti) identified Yosfiah as a key participant in the murder of the journalists(ibid.). As a consequence Coroner Pinch issued a report on 16 November 2007 that concluded he had participated in a war crime in being involved in the murders, punsihable under the Geneva convention which Indonesia was and is a signatory to. with recommendation for prosecution to go to the (Australian) Federal Attorney General.
Nicolau dos Reis Lobato
Minister of Information
Yosfiah served as Minister of Information in the Habibie government in 1998 and 1999. His actions in removing restrictions on media and other forms of communication, including lifting media bans, have been described as, "One of the great breakthroughs of the Habibie administration".
Alleged funding of East Timor militias
It has been alleged that in 1999 Yosfiah was involved in channeling Indonesian government money to East Timorese militia groups prior to the East Timor independence vote and its bloody aftermath.
After retiring from TNI
Yosfiah retired from the TNI in 1999. In 2002 Yosfiah became a member of the Muslim-based United Development Party (PPP). Yosfiah was General Secretary of PPP in December 2003. In February 2007 Yosfiah unsuccessfully contested the election for party chairmanship of the PPP.
- 1944 born
- 1965 AMN 6 (National Military Academy Class 6)
- 1966 - 197? RPKAD/Kopassandha (Platoon Commander, Group 2; Company Commander, Group 2; Company Commander, Group 4)
- 197? -1978 Commander Infantry Battalion 744, East Timor (Possible conflict with Jakarta Post source below)
- 1975 leads Indonesian forces into Balibo where killings of 5 journalists take place.
- 1977 -1979 first commander of 744/Satya Yudha Bhakti Infantry Battalion, East Timor.
- 1978 alleged killing of Nicolao Lobato, marries East Timorese woman.
- 1979 Training at Fort Leavenworth, then, Colonel, Deputy Commander of the Special Forces' Group III in Makassar
- ? - 1985 Assistant for Operations to Chief of Staff, Kodam XVI(Special Forces Command), training at Armed Forces Staff and Command School, West Java.
- mid 1985 - 1987 Commander of Korem 164/Dili
- 1987 - 1990 Brig. Gen., Director of Educational Upbuilding, Military Academy. Royal College of Defense Studies in Britain('89 and '90)
- 1990 Chief of Staff, Kodam VI Tanjungpura
- 1993 Major General, Commander of the Army Infantry Weapons Center
- 1997 (July) Chief of ABRI sociopolitical affairs. "Of previous heads ..., not one came from the Special Forces Command."
- 1998 -99 Minister of Information in Habibie government.
- 1999 retires from TNI Lt. Gen.
- 2002 joins PPP.
- 2007 contests election for PPP party chairmanship.
Classmates in National Military Academy, Class 6
Traditions within the Indonesian military link together the advancement of members of an Academy class. Yosfiah's classmates were:
- Budi Sujana
- Haris Sudarno
- M. Yacob Dusto
- R. Karyono
- R.W. Warouw
- R. Widagdo
- Theo Syafei
- Syamsir Siregar
Archived "The Jakarta Post" articles require free registration before viewing.
- Yale University Genocide Studies Program retrieved 2007-02-5
- Indonesia journal 59 (April 1995), pg 45--64 Current Data on the Indonesian Military Elite: Selected Biographies
- GlobalSecurity KASSPSPOL - Sociopolitical Affairs Section. retrieved 2007-02-05
- Hamish McDonald, Sydney Morning Herald Journos' bodies 'dressed as soldiers'. February 5, 2007 retrieved 2007-02-05
- Inquest into the Death of Brian Raymond Peters at the Wayback Machine (archived August 29, 2008)
- The Reform of the Indonesian Armed Forces Journal article by Damien Kingsbury; Contemporary Southeast Asia, Vol. 22, 2000. viewed at  retrieved 2007-02-08
- Mark Davis, Dateline SBS February 16, 2000  Timor Terror Fund, retrieved 2007-10-16
- The Jakarta Post 593 senior officers opt to leave military. June 02, 1999 retrieved 2007-02-08
- The Jakarta Post 14 Ex-generals to join PPP. December 19, 2001 retrieved 21007-02-08
- International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development Profile of political parties contesting the 2004 elections. December 9, 2003 retrieved 2007-02-09
- The Jakarta Post Minister Suryadharma elected PPP chairman. February 07, 2007 retrieved 2007-02-08
- Indonesia journal 53 (April 1992), pg 93--136 Current Data on the Indonesian Military Elite: July 1, 1989 -- January 1 1992
- Indonesia journal 55 (April 1993), pg 177--198 Current Data on the Indonesian Military Elite: January 1, 1992 -- April 3 1993
- The Jakarta Post Mass wedding for infantry troops. September 05, 2001 retrieved 2007-02-08
- GlobalSecurity KOPASSUS - Army Special Force Command retrieved 2007-02-09
- Imanuddin Razak, The Jakarta Post Syamsir Siregar, seasoned intelligence officer. December 15, 2004 retrieved 2007-02-08