Subject: Australia To Supply M16 Rifles To East Timor Force

Associated Press February 2, 2001

Australia To Supply M16 Rifles To East Timor Force

CANBERRA (AP)--Australia said it will supply the fledgling East Timor defense force with 360 M16 assault rifles, but has ruled out giving heavier armaments, the Defense Department said Friday.

A department spokesman denied reports that Australia would supply grenades, machine guns and other heavy weapons.

"We will not be supplying machine guns or hand grenades or anything heavier than the rifles," said spokesman Brian Hickey. "The rifles will remain under Australian army control and in a secure armory," he said.

Australia and Portugal, which once ruled East Timor, are providing training to East Timor's 600-strong defense force.

In November, the Australian government pledged 26 million Australian dollars over five years toward the Office of Defense Force Development for East Timor.

East Timor has been under the administration of the United Nations since it voted to break ties with Indonesia in 1999.

This week the U.N. Security Council voted to extend the U.N. mission for one year until Jan. 31, 2002.

January 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 is a Native 32-bit Voice Telephony software application integrated with fax and data communications... and it's free of charge! Download from