Subject: UN commander fears E Timor militia strife

Reuters Jan 7, 2000

E. Timor general fears militia strife

DILI — The Philippine general who will command UN peacekeepers in East Timor yesterday said he expected trouble from pro-Jakarta militias along the border with West Timor in the early stages of the operation.

Lieutenant General Jaime de los Santos told Reuters he would meet the head of Indonesia’s forces in West Timor in a bid to prevent tensions when peacekeepers under the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) take over from the UN-mandated multinational force next month. "There is a possibility they [militia] might test the resolve of UNTAET peacekeepers," he said.

"I plan to meet with the Indonesian West Timor so that we can reduce the tension on the border and since we are the military within UNTAET, we must be prepared to neutralize any threats."

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