Subject: AFP: East Timorese frustrated at lack of progress: Gusmao

Agence France-Presse (AFP) Date: 13 Jan 2000

East Timorese frustrated at lack of progress: Gusmao

DILI, East Timor, Jan 13 (AFP) - East Timorese are starting to feel frustrated at the lack of progress in rebuilding their destroyed country, independence leader Xanana Gusmao said Thursday.

"In the beginning it was sadness, it was sorrow. After that it was determination to look forward. And now, a little frustration because we cannot start something concrete," Gusmao, president of the National Council of Timorese Resistance (CNRT), told journalists.

He was speaking at the CNRT office after meeting with Phil Goff, New Zealand's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Gusmao appealed to donor countries to "quickly disperse some amounts to allow UNTAET to start" - a reference to the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor, which has been in place since October 25.

Much of East Timor was destroyed during a September campaign of murder, arson, looting and forced relocation of the populace by militias backed by the Indonesian armed forces. The violence followed East Timor's vote for independence from Indonesia.

"If you ask me what we need, we need everything," Gusmao said. Goff told reporters he discussed with Gusmao and Jose Ramos-Horta, a CNRT vice-president, the ways New Zealand can help.

"We've been talking about, for example, the training of people for the diplomatic service for East Timor. We are providing, I think, some customs officers shortly for you that will help with training, a judge, some police officers and training," Goff said.

He said he also talked about ways New Zealand could provide experts in agriculture, a sector which Gusmao emphasized will be important in East Timor's future.

"New Zealand is a country that has supported very, very much our struggle," Gusmao said.

Goff called on Indonesia to bring to justice those responsible for East Timor's plight.

"We hope that the Indonesians are sincere in what they've said about bringing to account people who have taken lives and who have destroyed so much property in this country, and we will be awaiting with real interest the reports that come from their human rights commission and from the United Nations," Goff said.

About 800 Kiwi troops are currently serving with the International Force East Timor (Interfet). A slightly smaller contingent is to continue with the UN peacekeeping mission which takes over from Interfet in February.

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