|Subject: JP: UN criticizes RI over handling
THE JAKARTA POST January 18, 2001
UN criticizes RI over handling of militias
JAKARTA (JP): Despite goodwill from the Indonesian government and leaders of East Timor, a United Nations senior official on Wednesday criticized Indonesia for failing to fully implement Security Council resolution 1319.
"There are problems in the implementation of the Security Council resolution 1319 which urges the Indonesian government to disarm and disband the militias," said Harri Holkeri, president of the UN General Assembly.
"There is concrete will on both sides to cooperate," he said, "but on certain issues, such as the security question and disarming militias, there are some different opinions about what order those things are to be done."
Holkeri told a press briefing that the Indonesian government plays an essential role in disarming and disbanding the militias, without which it is impossible for UN workers to continue their job at the border.
"Without disarming those paramilitary troops it is not possible (for the UN workers) to continue (their mission) in West Timor in a peaceful way," he remarked.
Some 400 workers from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other relief agencies fled West Timor following the murder of three relief workers in Attambua, West Nusa Tenggara, on Sept. 6 last year.
The murder, which took place during a militia attack, sparked international outrage and prompted the issuance of Security Council resolution 1319 that urged Jakarta to disarm the militias.
"The return of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and other international aid agencies is not possible under current security conditions. They need more security than exists there today," Holkeri said.
He further stated that the legal procedure of the case is a test case on how the Indonesian political system works and not just a symbolic action of the government.
Holkeri, who ended a visit to East Timor and Indonesia late on Wednesday, said "huge (security) problems" remain. "However, during my meeting with Indonesian leaders I have noticed a very positive attitude towards cooperation with the UN over these problems."
Holkeri said a security assessment team from the UN Security Council is due to visit Timor in February. The date of the visit was still being negotiated between the UN and Indonesia.
He also said the UN Security Council will hold a special meeting in New York on Friday to discuss the extension of the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor mandate in East Timor.
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