Subject: KMP: Two sides in East Timor agree to disarm
Date: Sat, 19 Jun 1999 14:45:32 +0000
From: (TAPOL)

Kompas, 19 June 1999 Translated by TAPOL


A meeting took place at TNI headquarters in Jakarta on Friday, 18 June attended by Defence Minister/Commander in chief of the TNI, the leaders of the National Council of Timorese Resistance, CNRT, Xanana Gusmao, and Leandro Isaac, and leaders of the pro-integration side, Domingos Soares and Joao Tavares.

The meeting resulted in a new agreement setting out a Code of Conduct for the achievement of a peaceful situation to enable the Consultation to take place in East Timor, as well as an agreement on disarmament.

A few hours earlier, meeting at a different location in Jakarta, Xanana and the pro-integration side had signed an accord, following three days of discussions.

In the presence of UN representative Tamrat Samuel, and the Peace and Stability Commission, the Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao, CNRT President who is also commander in chief of Falintil, and CNRT member Leandro Isaac, signed an agreement with the chairman of the Forum for Unity, Peace and Democracy, Domingos Soares and the war commander of the Pro-Integration Forces, Joao Tavares on disarmament.

Strained atmosphere

The signing ceremonies took place in the presence of journalists and in a strained atmosphere. The signing was one and a half hours later than the time journalists had been invited to come.

Others present at the ceremony were Tamrat Samuel from UNAMET/UN, representative of the East Timor local government Gabriel da Costa, Lt Colonel Hardiono Saroso, commander of Wira Dharma Korem (sic. he is commander of the Dili district command), Police Lt Colonel F. Dengah of the East Timor Police Force, Jose Antonio da Costa, secretary general of the Dili Diocese and two members of the National Human Rights Commission, Djoko Soegianto and BN Marbun.

Xanana and Leandro could be seen whispering to each other before the signing took place. And the two men shook their heads as the third paragraph of the agreement was read out: 'To hand over all firearms, grenades, explosives, assembled weapons (senjata api rakitan), as well as traditional weapons, machetes, sticks and other implements to the competent authorities (Polri). under the supervision of the Peace and Stability Commission, in accordance with the agreement on security signed by Indonesia, Portugal and the UN on 5 May 1999'.

Journalists wanting to speak to Xanana were disappointed. He was under heavy guard and was led away as soon as the signing had been completed, while the others present were free to speak to journalists.

5 July deadline

General Wiranto said that the PSC (the formation of) which had been agreed under the Accord reached in Dili on 21 April for the cessation of hostilities, had made significant progress, leading to actions that would make it possible for peace to be established in East Timor, creating circumstances that would convince all sides that the Consultation would take place smoothly.

'The two sides have agreed to hand over their weapons to the Indonesian police and to end hostilities. The handing over of weapons will go on from now up until 5 July,' he said.

Asked whether he expected the agreement to be kept by both sides, Wiranto replied that the leaders of the two sides in the dispute had come to an agreement which meant that their organisations must comply. To make sure that this happens, the accord will be distributed to all the supporters on both sides. He said that the PSC would supervise the handing in of weapons and those handing in weapons need have no fear with regard to their personal safety. 'The TNI and the police are neutral,' he said.

Asked whether Xanana would be released in order to make the dissemination of the agreement more effective, Wiranto said that Xanana's instructions would be complied with by all his supporters, wherever they were. His release depended on his status and this was a matter for the President.

Xanana saw the agreement as a first step which would make an important contribution to the implementation of the Consultation. For his part, Joao TAvares said that he fully supported the agreement.

Asked whether the two sides would accept defeat in the ballot, Joao Tavares said tha defeat and victory were facts that would have to be accepted, while Xanana said that he would strive to ensure that no one felt defeated or victorious.

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