Subject: ETISC: Massive troop buildup in East Timor
Date: Mon, 5 Oct 1998 19:36:39 +0930
From: "East Timor International Support Center" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Organization: East Timor International Support Center
East Timor International Support
Center PO Box 651, Nightcliff, Darwin 0814, NT, Australia http://www.easttimor.com
Massive Indonesian troop buildup in East Timor
On Saturday 3 October, 2 battalions of Indonesian Armed Forces (ABRI) troops numbering around 2,000 men advanced on and encircled Taur Matan Ruak, the vice- commander of the armed Resistance Falintil, and his company of guerrilla fighters.
It is believed that the encirclement was unsuccessful due to the guerrillas' superior knowledge of the terrain, however small detachments of ABRI troops continue to be deployed in order to identify the whereabouts of the guerrillas. Armed confrontation is likely to take place in the coming days.
The 2,000 troops engaged in the encirclement operation appear to have left from the Baucau region on Thursday and Friday of last week and headed towards the central part of East Timor with the intention of annihilating the resistance forces. As they passed through the town of Rai-Mean (above Laleia), the ABRI soldiers reportedly detained seven local people and intimidated others in Uai Mori in the territory's northern coast.
ETISC has been informed through reliable sources inside East Timor that up to 8,000 Indonesian soldiers have entered the territory since August (including 3 battalions which entered via the land border - Kupang/Kefa/Atambua) and that the much publicised recent withdrawal of 1,000 troops was part of regular troop rotations.
As reported elsewhere, residents have recently reported an increased military presence in the towns of Manatuto, Viqueque, Baucau and Los Palos regencies.
ETISC urges the international community to depatch monitors, immediately, to the troubled territory of East Timor to verify the actual withdrawal of Indonesian troops.
This latest news confirms the absence of good will and commitment on the part of the Habibie regime to refrain from the use of force and violence in reaching a solution to the East Timor conflict.
Fpr further information please contact Maria Ceu Federer at +61-8-89855678 OR Sonny Inbaraj at +61-8-89485333/ 0418-821960 (mobile)
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