Subject: LUSA: Hardline Militias Pose Potential 'Long-Term Threat' - Annan

23 Jan 02 14:25 East Timor: Hardline Militias Pose Potential 'Long-Term Threat' - Annan

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has alerted the Security Council to the potential threat posed to East Timor by Indonesia-based anti-independence militias and underlined the importance of resolving border disputes between Dili and Jakarta.

"Stability along the border with Indonesia is a key element for future security", Annan said in a report to the council, obtained by Lusa in New York Tuesday.

While anti-independence paramilitaries have been quiet in recent months, Annan, warned that "hardline militias" in Indonesian West Timor could represent "a long-term threat".

In his report, Annan also said that agreement had been reached for "joint reconnaissance" of the border next month to determine "the principles and techiniques" for delineating the frontier dividing Timor Island.

The Security Council will discuss the report next Wednesday with a view to extending the UN administrative mandate in East Timor through the territory´s independence, slated for May 20.

The council has already agreed to maintain a reduced, but robust, peacekeeping and civilian presence in East Timor for two years following independence.

SAS -Lusa-

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