Subject: AKI: Reinado, Railos must hand in weapons, says JRH

EAST TIMOR: ARMY OFFICIAL, MILITIA LEADER MUST HAND IN WEAPONS SAYS PM

Dili, 15 Nov. (AKI) - East Timor Prime Minister, Jose Ramos-Horta accused renegade soldier, Major Alfredo Reinado Alves and civilian militia group leader, Vicente "Railos" da Conceicao, of still holding weapons and urged them to surrender them. "I have credible information that Major Reinado and Railos groups are still holding automatic weapons and I do not know what for. To stop the bloodshed in East Timor, I urge them to hand the rest of the weapons to the international troops or UNPOL (United Nation police)," Ramos-Horta told Adnkronos International (AKI).

Australian-trained Major Reinado deserted on 4 May 2006 to join approximately 600 former soldiers who had been sacked after complaining of discrimination in promotions. Their dismissal started the East Timor crisis. Arrested for his role in the violence, Major Reinado is still at large after having escaped from prison on 30 August.

Vicente "Railos" da Conceicao is the leader of a civilian militia allegedly set up by former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri to get rid of his political adversaries.

Both Major Reinado and Vicente "Railos" da Conceicao have allegedly handed in their weapons in the past few months.

Horta underlined that a failure to comply with his ultimatum will lead to dire consequences.

"It is the international troops' duty to hunt down people who have no right to hold weapons like Major Alfredo and the Railos group. There will be no mercy for them if they are still holding weapons," Ramos-Horta told AKI adding that the two rebels were hiding in the forests.

The premier's words angered militia leader "Railos" da Conceicao, met by Adnkronos International in his house in Liquica town.

Railos, who said that he never left his town, defined Ramos-Horta as "a not very intelligent man," and said that the prime minister has no evidence and does not really want to solve the problem.

"I never left Liquica town and run to the forest as Horta said. My group and I handed over our weapons to the international troops in front of Horta himself and other dignitaries in July. How can he still accuse me of holding weapons? This is a serious accusation," he told AKI.

"Horta is not very cleaver and lacks the political will to solve the problem," Railos added.

Railos militia's weapons were distributed from a branch of the security apparatus arsenal. In the meantime, UNMIT acting Administrator, Finn Reske-Nielsen in Dili confirmed that 96 percent of the weapons have now been collected and are accounted for.

"Well over 3,000 weapons have been collected already, including the vast majority of the long-barrel weapons," Reske-Nielsen told AKI.

However, UNPOL commissioner in East Timor, Antero Lopes, said that there are some 200 weapons that belong to national police still unaccounted for.

"About 200 of the PNTL [East Timor police]'s weapons that have been distributed have not been recovered yet and we are tracing them," Lopes added.

(Fsc/Ner/Aki)

Nov-15-06 10:00


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