Subject: LUSA: Fourth reconciliation meet with militia boss held in secret

07-08-2002 13:05:00. Notícia nº 3978852 Temas: new destaque3

East Timor: Fourth reconciliation meet with militia boss held in secret

East Timorese government and UN officials held a fourth, unannounced round of reconciliation and repatriation talks with former anti-independence militia chief Joao Tavares Tuesday in the border town of Batugade, Dili's UN mission said Wednesday.

In a communique, UNMISET said Dili had turned down Tavares' earlier proposal for the creation of "transit camps" in East Timor for the repatriation of thousands of refugees still in Indonesian West Timor.

The government's refusal of the camps aimed to "avoid conflicts" through the concentration of returnees, the communique said.

Despite his "disappointment", UNMISET said Tavares, the leader of the former umbrella organization of pro-Indonesian militias, had requested another meeting, this time with Dili's senior leaders.

Government officials, contacted by Lusa, said they were unaware of the meeting Tuesday and of any formal decision to refuse Tavares' request for transit camps, an option Dili has been reluctant to embrace.

Three earlier meetings of Tavares with Dili and UN officials were publicly announced prior to the border encounters.

SAS/ASP -Lusa-

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