Subject: Indon province told to secure UN visit

The Jakarta Post November 10, 2000

Province told to secure UN visit

JAKARTA (JP): Coordinating minister for political, social and security affairs Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said on Thursday he had ordered military and police chiefs in East Nusa Tenggara to secure the visit of the UN inquiry team next week.

"I have contacted the provincial police chief and the regional military commander and asked them to provide a security guarantee for the (UN) delegation, because if anything unwarranted happened to them, it will only make the Indonesian nation look bad," Susilo said after a meeting with VicePresident Megawati Soekarnoputri.

He was referring to the visit by a delegation from the UN Security Council to East Timor at the end of this week and to West Timor and Jakarta next week.

Their visit comes in the wake of a UN Security Council resolution in September that called for the disarmament and disbandment of East Timorese militias in West Timor following the murder of three UN relief workers there.

"The UN Security Council delegation will be in Atambua on November 13-14 and on November 16-17, they will be in Jakarta," Susilo said.

"The government accepts the visit of the delegation and understands the arrival as not only part of the resolution but also as a reaction to the response of the government of Indonesia," Susilo said.

Jakarta initially opposed the UN delegation visit, while Susilo said in September that the government "should be given a chance to do what we have to do".

But Jakarta relented just before an October meeting of the Consultative Group on Indonesia (CGI) in Tokyo, amid concern that its failure to comply with the resolution could curb the inflow of much-needed foreign assistance.

Susilo said the government understood the delegation, which will include representatives from Argentina, Malaysia, Tunisia, Ukraine and Britain, "wishes to settle the problems in the most just and wisest manner possible."

"The Indonesian government is ready to cooperate with the United Nations and with the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET)," he added.

The murder of the UN workers sparked an international outcry and resultedin the hurried exodus of around 400 foreign aid personnel who were working with about 130,000 East Timorese refugees remaining in West Timor.

Some 250,000 people fled to West Timor after the people in the former Indonesian province voted for independence in August 1999.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said in a report just released that recovery in post-referendum East Timor was on track "thanks to rapid and generous donor response".

"With these resources, the humanitarian community was able to provide thenecessary assistance at an early enough stage to prevent the deterioration of the physical condition of the beneficiary population," Annan said in hisreport to the General Assembly.

He predicted that the engagement of the international community in East Timor will be required "for the foreseeable future in all sectors".(44/byg)

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