Subject: UN: Over 1,000 people estimated killed in last year's violence in East Timor

UN Newservice

Over 1,000 people estimated killed in last year's violence in East Timor

Over 1,000 people estimated killed in last year's violence in East Timor 5 July -- A senior human rights official in the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) today said that an estimated 1,000 to 1,200 people had been killed during the violence that followed East Timor's referendum for independence last September.

Briefing the press in Dili, the head of UNTAET's Human Rights Unit, Sidney Jones, noted that a more accurate figure was expected to emerge from the continuing investigative and forensic work.

In other developments, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) today reported that its staff had resumed relief activities at camps in West Timor's Kupang area, where work had been suspended for two weeks following assaults on UNHCR personnel and refugees. During a meeting on Monday, the Governor of Kupang province had announced his acceptance of the agency's proposals to secure workers and refugees against pro-Indonesian elements opposing repatriation to East Timor. The measures included the takeover of responsibility by Indonesian police for security in the camps, including maintenance of a 24-hour presence.

Meanwhile, a seven-member multinational team from King's College Centre for Defense Studies, London University, is to begin on Saturday an independent study on the future of the security forces of East Timor. The team will produce a report -- including possible profiles for a defense force -- based on its analysis of the territory's current security arrangements, relations between civilians and peacekeeping staff, as well as the Falintil liberation army. 


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