|Subject: DPA: UN Security Council supports
referendum work in East Timor
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 1999 09:35:33 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <email@example.com>
ROUNDUP: U.N. council supports referendum work in East Timor meeting on East Timor
07/16/1999 Deutsche Presse-Agentur
New York (dpa) - The U.N. Security Council on Friday gave support to its mission's work in East Timor to prepare residents there for the August referendum.
The council discussed the situation with U.N. mediator Jamsheed Marker, who was chairing meetings with envoys from Indonesia and Portugal at U.N. headquarters in New York to draw up the U.N. role in the post-referendum period.
Council president, Ambassador Hasmy Agam, said the body gave support to Marker's efforts and the start of the 20-day registration of East Timorese voters on Friday.
Marker held Friday the last of two days of meetings with Ambassadors Nugroho Wisnumurti of Indonesia and Fernando Neves of Portugal to assess the referendum process leading to the direct ballot on or about August 22. East Timorese will either choose a U.N. autonomy plan or reject it and gain independence from Indonesia.
He told reporters after closing the meeting that various scenarios and their implications were discussed by him and the two ambassadors, who will return to their capitals for more discussion.
``I am concerned by the sort of hiatus that will exist between the counting of the ballots, the results and the subsequent actions to be taken by the (Indonesian) government,'' Marker said.
He said security is just one of the concerns. Others deal with reconciliation and what should be done without waiting for the outcome of the direct ballot.
The two sides were ``genuinely aware of the problems,'' he said.
East Timor was a Portuguese colony until 1975 and was annexed by Indonesia the following year.
The U.N. mission in East Timor is responsible for organizing the referendum. It is now involved in the phase called popular consultations under which East Timorese are appraised of the U.N. autonomy plan and in registering the voters.