Indonesia to recruit 350,000 soldiers

Sept. 11, 2007 at 2:18 AM

JAKARTA, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Indonesia reportedly plans to recruit 350,000 more personnel to its army over the next several years to improve the security of the vast archipelago.

"The present number (of army personnel) is far from enough compared to the vastness of the territory they have to safeguard," Army Chief of Staff Gen. Djoko Santoso said.

The general said the minimum number of soldiers needed for the task would be 0.4 percent of the country’s population, or about 800,000, Antara new agency reported Tuesday.

"Their number is now less than 300,000, including non-servicemen," Santoso was quoted as saying.

He said this number would be raised by another 350,000 under the army`s development program through 2024.

"A democratic country like Indonesia certainly needs strong soldiers. Therefore, the Army is planning to recruit new personnel until 2024," he said.

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