|Subject: AFP: Pro-Indonesia group calls for ouster
of UN spokesman in East Timor
Date: Sat, 26 Jun 1999 08:45:17 +0000
From: "John M. Miller" <email@example.com>
Received from Joyo Indonesian News:
Pro-Indonesia group calls for ouster of UN spokesman in East Timor
DILI, East Timor, June 21 (AFP) - A pro-Indonesia group in East Timor Monday called on UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to replace the UN mission spokesman in East Timor, accusing him of favoring the pro-independence camp.
In a press statement carried in the Suara Timor Timur (Voice of East Timor) daily, the Peace and Justice Forum charged that UNAMET spokesman David Wimhurst had been "exceeding his authority".
It claimed Wimhurst always blamed pro-Indonesia supporters and the local authorities for problems in the territory.
The forum "asks the UN secretary General Kofi Annan and the Special representative of the UN secretary General, Jamsheed Marker, to replace David Wimhurst as UNAMET spokesman".
It also called for the replacement of "all translators of the UNAMET who were only recruited from among the anti-integration side".
The statement, signed by the spokesman of the forum, Florencio Mario Vieira, warned that if UNAMET viewed pro-Indonesia supporters as not part of the conflict in East Timor, the forum may reconsider cooperating with it.
The forum, which includes the heads of some pro-Indonesian militia units, claimed the mission has so far ignored several cases of violence against pro-Indonesia supporters by their separatist rivals.
"The statements of the UNAMET spokesman have exceeded his authority, for example by making a case about the visit of Ramos Horta," the statement said.
It was alluding to a statement by UNAMET chief Ian Martin, relayed by Wimhurst last week, that any East Timorese was entitled to campaign ahead of an August 8 ballot on the future of the territory.
The statement was issued after self-exiled East Timorese pro-independence activist and Nobel laureate Jose Ramos Horta said he would try to return home with or without Jakarta's permission.
Jakarta has said the agreement on the balloting agreed with Portugal and the United Nations in May specified that exiled East Timorese could only campaign abroad and would also only be consulted by the UN abroad.
Diplomats and UN officials have said there is no such clause in the document.
Tension between the two camps has escalated since Jakarta said in January that it may free East Timor, the former Portuguese colony it invaded in 1975, if the people there rejected broad autonomy under Indonesia in the August vote.