Subject: LUSA: Bishop Belo calls for UN Presence
From: "Sharon R.A. Scharfe" <>

08 FEV 99 - 22:20 East Timor: Bishop Ximenes Belo Calls For UN Presence

Sydney, Feb. 8 (Lusa) - An immediate United Nations presence is needed if the East Timorese are to be consulted on self-determination, East Timor bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo told Lusa Monday. Contacted in Dili, the capital of East Timor, Belo said two or three UN observers were urgently needed to mark a presence and earn the people's confidence. Otherwise there will be no conditions to go ahead with the consultation, he stated. At UN-mediated talks Sunday, Portugal and Indonesia agreed that the people of East Timor would be consulted this year about whether to accept the special autonomy proposed by Jakarta or choose independence. The accord signed in New York should be used to pressure the Indonesian government and military into ensuring the safety of the East Timorese, Belo said. The co-laureate of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize added that the situation on the ground in East Timor was approaching "total anarchy", with armed pro-Indonesia militias provoking a wave of violence throughout the territory.

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