Subject: RT: Indonesia condemns killing of NZ soldier in E.Timor

Indonesia condemns killing of NZ soldier in E.Timor

BANGKOK, July 25 (Reuters) - Indonesian Foreign Minister Alwi Shihab condemned on Tuesday the killing of a New Zealand soldier in East Timor by suspected pro-Jakarta militia and said his government would help investigate the incident.

"Actually we deplore the incident and we would like to see this accident not happen again, so we will also do our part to investigate", he told reporters on the fringes of the 10-nation Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) ministerial meeting.

Asked if Indonesia would actively pursue the killers, he said: "Yes let us see first who is the actor".

Private Leonard William Manning, 24, was shot on Monday when New Zealand troops tracking militia fighters in the rugged border area near Suai -- not far from the border with Indonesia's West Timor -- were fired upon.

Manning's death was the first combat casualty since U.N.-backed peace enforcement troops arrived in East Timor last September, although two New Zealand peacekeepers have been killed in motor accidents there.

New Zealand Foreign Minister Phil Goff said on Tuesday he would meet his Indonesian counterpart in the Thai capital over the next few days to voice concern over the death.

New Zealand is a member of the ASEAN Regional Forum, which is due to hold talks in the Thai capital later this week.

East Timor's vote for independence from Indonesia last August prompted a vicious backlash against East Timorese by sections of the military, police and pro-Jakarta militias.

More than 200,000 people fled or were forced out of East Timor.

Shihab said the situation in West Timor could be helped by getting refugees, especially ex-military personnel, out from the camps.

He said that some refugees wanted to go to East Timor, but needed shelter and security, which he said was a "collective responsibility not only on us but also on the part of the United Nations".

An Australian-led international force sent to restore order after the violence has since been replaced by about 9,000 U.N. troops.

Thailand said it would maintain its commitment to the U.N. peacekeeping force, which is under the command of Lt. Gen Boonsrang Niumpradit of Thailand.

"A mission is a mission, there is some risk there but we will not review our policy in sending our people there", Foreign Minister Surin Pitsuwan said.


July Menu
World Leaders Contact List
Human Rights Violations in East Timor
Main Postings Menu

Note: For those who would like to fax "the powers that be" - CallCenter V3.5.8, is a Native 32-bit Voice Telephony software application integrated with fax and data communications... and it's free of charge! Download from http://www.v3inc.com/