Subject: JP: E Timor Refugees Threaten Locals

The Jakarta Post

June 26, 2001


KUPANG, East Nusa Tenggara: Thousands of villagers in the district of Sulamu, 120 kilometers east of Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, are seeking protection and evacuation following alleged violence on the part of East Timorese refugees.

The refugees, occupying a camp only three kilometers away from Sulamu village, have reportedly looted dozens of houses belonging to villae residents.

Around 20 village community leaders called on the regent of Kupang on Monday to demand security guarantees in connection with the increasing tension between the rural inhabitants and the refugees.

Kupang Deputy Regent Frids Djubida said renewed tension had gripped the town since Saturday after the refugees attacked local settlements, killing cattle and damaging personal property.

The attack took place after local people protested the slaughter of their cattle by a group of refugees.

The governor of NTT, Piet A. Tallo, confirming the Sulamu people's demand, said his administration was striving to find the best possible solution to the problem.

Udayana Military District Commander Maj. Gen. Willem T. da Costa meanwhile said his forces were prepared to take stern action against rioters trying to create chaos.

Provincial Police chief Brig. Gen. Yakobus Jacky Uli supported the commander's statement by giving assurances that any violations of law would be dealt with strictly and stating that an investigating team was gathering data to find out who were the masterminds behind the violence.

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