|=Subject: AFP: Hundreds of refugees flee renewed
violence in East Timor
Date: Sat, 08 May 1999 09:34:46 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Received from Joyo Indonesian News:
Hundreds of refugees flee renewed violence in East Timor
LIQUISA, East Timor, May 7 (AFP) - More than 1,000 refugees have flooded into this small town near the north coast of East Timor, fleeing what some have called new "terror" in the surrounding countryside.
Military authorities here put the number camped in tents, under trees and in every available open space in Liquisa at some 3,000.
But an AFP photographer said the figure appeared to be closer to 1,500.
Some of the tents being used in Liquisa bore the markings of the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC), but an ICRC source in Jakarta said she was not aware the tents were being used there.
On the contrary, she said, the ICRC in the main East Timor city of Dili was protesting efforts by the military to drive refugees there out away to Liquisa.
The refugees the military was trying to drive out, she said, were those who survived a bloody pro-integration militia attack on the Dili house of pro-independence activist Manuel Carrascalo on April 17.
Eleven of the some 120 refugees camped there were killed in the attack, along with Carrascalao's teenage son, Manuelito.
Carrascalao has since fled East Timor with the surviving members of his family.
The churchyard in Liquisa, some 50 kilometers (35 miles) along the coast west of Dili, was the scene of another bloody militia attack earlier in April when at least 25 refugees who had been sheltering in the church there were hacked to death with machetes.
One woman living in a tent there with her children, who asked not to be named, said she had come to Liquisa because of "terror" in the countryside, without elaborating.
Meanwhile in the small town of Remexio, an hour's drive to the southeast of Dili, residents told AFP two local men, suspected of being pro-independence, had been seized from their house by a paramilitary unit in a small adjoining hamlet earlier in the week.
The men had not been seen since, the residents said. A police officer in the area denied knowledge of the reports.
In Dili earlier in the day some 200 pro-independence students rallied peacefully outside their university for the third straight day, singing and chanting, witnesses said.
Police made no attempt to break up the rally and the students cheered them as they passed in trucks, said one witness, who described the atmosphere as "less tense" than Thursday.
On Wednesday the students had scattered in panic when police appeared, but on Thursday they stood their ground when riot police ordered them back on campus.
"We will stage these rallies every day now," one student said.
Otherwise East Timor's capital was quiet, journalists said, with no incidents reported despite the continued presence of pro-Indonesian militia posts on the streets of the city.
Both sides said on Thursday they would welcome unarmed United Nations police, scheduled to start arriving in the former Portuguese colony Monday.
The dispatch of the police contingent was agreed on as a part of a landmark accord reached at the United Nations between Portugal and Indonesia Wednesday designed to end more than 20 years of bloodshed in East Timor.
Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975 and annexed it a year later in a move never recognized by the United Nations or most countries, which still view Lisbon as the legal administrator.
United Nations attempts to broker a solution to the East Timor problem got nowhere until Jakarta in January said it would be prepared to let the territory go if its people rejected a broad autonomy offer.
Wednesday's agreement in New York provides for the referendum to take place August 8, if the security situation permits.