Subject: UN Urges Indonesia To Disband Militias Harassing E Timor

Dow Jones Newswires August 3, 2000

UN Urges Indonesia To Disband Militias Harassing E Timor

UNITED NATIONS (AP)--The U.N. Security Council urged the Indonesian government Thursday to disarm and disband militias operating out of West Timor and punish militiamen guilty of carrying out crimes in neighboring East Timor.

In a presidential statement read at an open meeting, the council called on Indonesia to translate agreements with the U.N. administration in East Timor on legal, judicial, human rights and border issues "into concrete progress on the ground."

The statement follows the July 24 killing of New Zealand army Pvt. Leonard William Manning. He was killed in a fire fight with 10 suspected pro-Indonesian militamen who had crossed into East Timor from Indonesian-controlled West Timor.

The Security Council condemned the killing and welcomed the establishment of a joint U.N.-Indonesian investigation.

The council also expressed "profound concern" at the continuing presence of large numbers of refugees from East Timor in camps in West Timor.

In a July 26 report to the council, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the activities of pro-integration militias who exercise control over the refugees, and continuing cross-border attacks highlighted by the fatal shooting of a U.N. soldier, "are very disturbing."

"I expect that effective steps will be taken by the Indonesian authorities to bring the situation fully under control," Annan said.

U.N. administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello said "a few hundred extremists" continue to launch hit and run attacks from West Timor. The Indonesian military has arrested some militia members, confiscated their weapons and barred them from training around refugee camps in West Timor, he said.

According to Annan's report, more than 167,000 refugees have returned to East Timor from Indonesia but an estimated 85,000 to 120,000 remain in camps in West Timor where anti-independence militias are impeding the work of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees "by intimidation and violence."

As a result, Annan said, UNHCR efforts to register refugees and determine whether they want to return to East Timor or be resettled in Indonesia had to be postponed indefinitely last month.

"The council calls for a more determined involvement in this problem by the government of Indonesia," said the statement read by the current council president, Malaysia's U.N. Ambassador Hasmy Agam.

It urged Indonesia to restore law and order, to ensure security for refugees and international humanitarian personnel, to separate former militiary personnel, police and civil servants from the refugees, "and to arrest those militia extremists who are attempting to sabotage the resettlement process

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