Yunus Yosfiah
25th Indonesian Information Minister
In office
May 23, 1998 – October 26, 1999
PresidentB. J. Habibie
Preceded byAlwi Dahlan
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Personal details
Born (1944-08-07) August 7, 1944 (age 76)
Rappang, South Sulawesi, Japanese East Indies[1][2]
Political partyGerindra[3]
Spouse(s)Hj. Antonia Ricardo
ChildrenEric Akbar Ricardo Yunus
Pierre Akbar
Alma materMilitary Academy 1965

Muhammad Yunus Yosfiah (born 7 August 1944) is a decorated member of the Indonesian Army.[4] Yosfiah served as Minister of Information of Indonesia in the Development Reform Cabinet between 1998 and 1999.

Action in East Timor

Balibo Five

Main article: Balibo Five

In 1975, whilst a Captain leading an Indonesian special forces unit into Balibo, East Timor, Yosfiah opened fire on Australian based journalists attempting to surrender, and ordered his men to do the same.[5] 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.'[6] 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, punishable under the Geneva convention which Indonesia was and is a signatory to.[7] with recommendation for prosecution to go to the (Australian) Federal Attorney General.

Nicolau dos Reis Lobato

He is also alleged[4] to have killed Nicolau dos Reis Lobato, leader of the Fretilin in 1978.

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".[8]

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.[1][9]

After retiring from TNI

Yosfiah retired from the TNI in 1999.[10] In 2002 Yosfiah became a member of the Muslim-based United Development Party (PPP).[11] Yosfiah was General Secretary of PPP in December 2003.[12] In February 2007 Yosfiah unsuccessfully contested the election for party chairmanship of the PPP.[13]


Except where previously or otherwise cited the information in the timeline is from "Indonesia[2][14][15]" a Southeast Asia Program Publications journal of Cornell University.

Classmates in National Military Academy, Class 6

Traditions within the Indonesian military link together the advancement of members of an Academy class.[14] Yosfiah's classmates were:


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  1. ^ a b Yale University Genocide Studies Program Archived September 1, 2006, at the Wayback Machine retrieved 2007-02-5
  2. ^ a b Indonesia journal 59 (April 1995), pg 45--64 Current Data on the Indonesian Military Elite: Selected Biographies Archived September 14, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "SK Kepengurusan Partai Gerindra untuk Pemilu 2019" (PDF). Komisi Pemilihan Umum. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  4. ^ a b GlobalSecurity KASSPSPOL - Sociopolitical Affairs Section. retrieved 2007-02-05
  5. ^ Hamish McDonald, Sydney Morning Herald Journos' bodies 'dressed as soldiers'. February 5, 2007 retrieved 2007-02-05
  6. ^ "Inquest into the Death of Brian Raymond Peters". Archived from the original on August 29, 2008. Retrieved December 19, 2009.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  7. ^
  8. ^ The Reform of the Indonesian Armed Forces Journal article by Damien Kingsbury; Contemporary Southeast Asia, Vol. 22, 2000. viewed at [1] retrieved 2007-02-08
  9. ^ Mark Davis, Dateline SBS February 16, 2000 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 12, 2007. Retrieved October 16, 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Timor Terror Fund, retrieved 2007-10-16
  10. ^ a b The Jakarta Post 593 senior officers opt to leave military. June 02, 1999 Archived August 12, 2014, at the Wayback Machine retrieved 2007-02-08
  11. ^ The Jakarta Post 14 Ex-generals to join PPP. December 19, 2001[permanent dead link] retrieved 21007-02-08
  12. ^ International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development Profile of political parties contesting the 2004 elections. December 9, 2003 Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine retrieved 2007-02-09
  13. ^ The Jakarta Post Minister Suryadharma elected PPP chairman. February 07, 2007 Archived September 29, 2007, at the Wayback Machine retrieved 2007-02-08
  14. ^ a b Indonesia journal 53 (April 1992), pg 93--136 Current Data on the Indonesian Military Elite: July 1, 1989 -- January 1 1992 Archived September 21, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Indonesia journal 55 (April 1993), pg 177--198 Current Data on the Indonesian Military Elite: January 1, 1992 -- April 3 1993 Archived September 21, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ The Jakarta Post Mass wedding for infantry troops. September 05, 2001[permanent dead link] retrieved 2007-02-08
  17. ^ GlobalSecurity KOPASSUS - Army Special Force Command retrieved 2007-02-09
  18. ^ Imanuddin Razak, The Jakarta Post Syamsir Siregar, seasoned intelligence officer. December 15, 2004 Archived March 4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine retrieved 2007-02-08