|Subject: ABC: ET Shooting Victims say ABRI was
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 1999 10:37:32 -0400
From: "Sharon R.A. Scharfe" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
1999 Australian Broadcasting Corporation Thu, 22 Apr 1999
E Timor shooting victims say soldiers were present
Two victims of the massacre in the house of pro-independence faction leader Manuel Carrascalao claim uniformed Indonesian soldiers were present during the killings last weekend.
The victims are recovering from their wounds in hospital.
Cries of pain are still heard in a Dili medical clinic, where the damage of the weekend's violence is still very real.
That is despite the peace agreement signed yesterday between pro-integration and pro-independence leaders.
Two young men in the clinic tell the story of Saturday's attack on the house of Manual Carrascalao, where at least eight people died.
They say pro-integration militia men attacked the house through windows and doors, while soldiers in uniform stood by.
They claim there were other men dressed in black with their faces covered also involved in the violence.
The men say they think the men in black were soldiers.
But like so much in East Timor in these troubled times, that claim cannot be confirmed.
The streets are quiet in East Timor's capital Dili a day after a peace agreement was signed between pro-integration and pro-independence leaders.
While there is no open conflict, many people are still hiding.
Police have said that during the next few days illegal weapons will be collected from militia groups.
The true extent of that disarmament program remains to be seen, and is limited only to militia members who do not have a legal right to carry weapons.
Many militia men own weapons legally because of their role in East Timor's civilian guards.
While gestures towards peace were made to the world yesterday, the peace signing ceremony has not brought pro-independence activists out of hiding.
In Dili today, it is extremely difficult to find anyone who will talk openly about the weekend's violence.
There are also reports that paramilitary groups are still searching for pro-independence activists.
Meanwhile, pro-integration activities are being organised without fear.
Several rallies are planned for next week.
US welcomes peace plan
Washington says it welcomes the East Timor peace agreement signed by warring pro and anti-independence groups on the island.
The peace pact was signed in Dili, East Timor, just hours before Indonesia was to seek UN approval for an autonomy package to take to the territory as an alternative to independence.
US State Department spokesman James Rubin said in a statement that it was a useful development.
"We applaud the agreement's call to end all forms of 'hostility, intimidation, terror and violence' and activation of a Peace and Stability Commission with participation by all signatory parties," he said.
The pact "should be implemented immediately through specific, effective measures".
"We urge the Peace and Stability Commission to move swiftly on reconciliation dialogue and other confidence building actions."
The East Timor truce was also signed by the island's army command and was witnessed by Indonesia's military chief, General Wiranto, and the troubled territory's two bishops.
Mr Rubin wrote that the Indonesian military should take "immediate steps" to disarm all groups on the island, "an action that could be advanced by immediately permitting an international presence in East Timor".
The statement concludes by urging Indonesia "to facilitate the flow of humanitarian assistance, particularly medical care, to East Timor".
The pact followed weeks of violence between the two camps in East Timor, which left scores dead and threatened a scheduled UN-supervised vote in July to determine whether East Timorese want to remain under Jakarta's rule.
© 1999 Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Updated: Thu, 22 Apr 1999 08:31 PM (AEST)
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