Indonesian military personnel apart, few will find it remarkable that there are major discrepancies between the army's internal inquiry into the May riots and the findings of the official report filed by a team headed by Marzuki Darusman, the respected vice-chairman of the government-sponsored National Human Rights Commission. Despite the apology by the military chief, General Wiranto, for past excesses by the Indonesia army, and the watering down of its formidable power since the fall of president Suharto, fear and distrust of the security forces remain as palpable as ever. It would be remarkable if any rape victims had been prepared to talk to the military, if only because of the suspicions that it was involved in the violence, and particularly after the murder of an 18-year-old Chinese woman who helped run a rape counselling group. Some victims may still be too frightened to give evidence to the official inquiry. But it now appears beyond question that at least 66 women were violated during the violence, and that factions of the security forces were implicated in the riots. General Wiranto's reformist moves after the fall of Suharto bolstered hopes that Indonesia was on a progressive course. But he now seems to be backtracking, rejecting the report in favour of the squeaky-clean findings of the army's internal inquiry. President Bacharuddin Habibie's next step will be a measure of how far he is in control. Few Indonesians expect to see the matter taken further, given the Government's past record. But times have changed. Violence against ethnic Chinese brought an international dimension to the riots, and the world will expect a full inquiry into the initial findings. The army remains central to the running of Indonesia. Its progressive withdrawal from politics is essential for the development of democracy. So long as rogue elements are seen to have a protected life within its ranks, it will be unable to regain popular respect. President Habibie has to show that it is he who holds the reins, and do so by ensuring that those behind the riots do not go unpunished.