Subject: Lusa: Dili, Jakarta said 'on alert' for re-emergence of militia activity

20-05-2004 10:58:00 GMT . Fonte LUSA. Notícia SIR-6045197 Temas:

East Timor: Dili, Jakarta said 'on alert' for re-emergence of militia activity

Dili, May 20 (Lusa) - Both East Timor and Indonesia are "on alert" for any resurgence of anti-independence militia activity following Dili's assumption of full security control from the United Nations, says East Timor's foreign minister.

José Ramos Horta, in comments to Lusa Thursday, shortly after the formal handover of security responsibilities, underlined that East Timor's border populations, police and defense force were watchful for any sign of renewed militia activity from across the border with Indonesia.

Ramos Horta also expressed confidence that Indonesia would continue good-neighbor relations, including in the security field.

"Indonesian authorities", he said, "are on alert to prevent any infiltration and destabilization action in East Timor", which broke from Jakarta's rule through an UN-sponsored plebiscite in 1999.

The most radical anti-independence militiamen, who remain in Indonesian West Timor, have "no popular support" and do not have a "secure sanctuary" in Indonesia, the foreign minister said.

Ramos Horta described the heavily reduced United Nations' UNMISET mission, which gave up responsibility for security matters Thursday, the eve of the country's second independence anniversary, as "entirely adequate" for Dili's needs.

But given the mission's limited timeframe, he said Dili must intensify the formation" of its police force and its rapid deployment unit.

The extended UNMISET mission now has a six-month mandate, which may be prolonged for a further six months.

Ramos Horta acknowledged that the country's long-term security was inextricably linked to economic development and the creation of jobs for the large number of unemployed youths.

"Economic development and the reduction of poverty are vital to creating a climate of peace and stability in the country", he told Lusa.


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