Mon, 09 Oct 2000

Gen. Tyasno confirms replacement

JAKARTA (JP): Army Chief of Staff Gen. Tyasno Sudarto confirmed on Sunday that he would be replaced by his deputy, Lt. Gen. Endriartono Sutarto.

Speaking to journalists in Surakarta, Central Java, Tyasno said he had been personally informed by President Abdurrahman Wahid.

"I was summoned by Bapak President on Saturday morning and told about the replacement," Tyasno said.

"I will await for orders on my next post, for now I will be a senior officer at TNI headquarters in Cilangkap (Jakarta)," he added.

Tyasno believes that Endriartono is a natural choice to replace him.

"In the hierarchical structure of the Army he is number two after the chief of staff, even though there are senior officers like the chief of the Army's Strategic Reserves Command (Kostrad)," he said as quoted by Antara from Surakarta, while adding that Endriartono had been slotted as a "cadre" for the post.

Nevertheless he would not confirm if that hierarchical structure would now be the basis of future appointments.

In the past, the top post in the Army has not been filled from a particular hierarchical structure.

For example Gen. (ret.) Wiranto when he was appointed Army chief in 1997 held the post of Kostrad chief, while Gen. (ret.) Hartono was Armed Forces Social and Political Affairs chief when he became Army chief in 1995.

Speaking of his hopes for his successor, Tyasno said Endriartono should continue to strengthen the internal consolidation of the Army and correct mistakes committed in the past.

An official announcement on the replacement is expected Monday. (mds)