|Subject: AU: UN police chief tries out his Dili beat
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 1999 14:38:16 +0000
From: "John M. Miller" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Received from Joyo Indonesian News:
The Australian 17 June 99
UN police chief tries out his Dili beat
>From PETER ALFORD in Dili
THE Australian chief of the UN civilian police contingent on East Timor, Alan Mills, says he is "very heartened" by initial discussions with Indonesian police about their role in the province's referendum process.
Mr Mills said yesterday Indonesia's national police commander, General Roesmanhadi, had pledged full support for the UN police contingent, CIVPOL, in its referendum-monitoring role. "For my part, I pledged my utmost efforts to ensure that neutrality in all our activities is maintained," he told The Australian.
During their meeting in Jakarta last week, Mr Mills raised specific concerns with General Roesmanhadi, including the deployment in East Timor of a 500-strong contingent from Brimog, the tough police anti-riot brigade.
The presence of Brimog among the 1500 Indonesian police arriving in East Timor this week has sharpened fears of a Jakarta-driven crackdown on pro-Independence activists in the run-up to the scheduled August 8 referendum.
"My understanding from General Roesmanhadi was that they will act in support of police in the field and I was told they would be under local command," Mr Mills said.
Mr Mills arrived in Dili last weekend to prepare for the arrival of the first 39 CIVPOL officers on Saturday morning. The full force, 284 policemen from 13 countries, including 50 from Australia, will be fully deployed by July 11.
CIVPOL will liaise with Indonesian police and UN monitors to ensure the integrity of the referendum and an intimidation-free environment for East Timorese voters.
A retired Australian Federal Police commissioner and veteran of several previous international missions, Mr Mills said the first CIVPOL officers would begin work with Indonesian police officers and UN observer groups immediately.