Subject: RT: Foreign police due in East Timor next month
Date: Sat, 15 May 1999 11:13:51 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <>

Received from Joyo Indonesian News:

Foreign police due in East Timor next month

DILI, East Timor, May 10 (Reuters) - An international contingent of civilian police is expected to arrive in troubled East Timor next month to oversee a vote on independence in August, a senior United Nations official said on Monday.

``As early as possible the international police will come in East Timor, in the first week of June,'' Om Rathor, U.N. chief adviser on security affairs, told Reuters.

Rathor arrived in the former Portuguese colony on Saturday to prepare for the deployment of the police. Indonesia has accepted their presence ahead of the August 8 ballot, but only as advisers.

``The details of the planning have not been done yet, we have just started,'' said Rathor, who is scheduled to stay in Dili until May 15 to prepare for the arrival of the police.

He put their number at between 250 and 270 and added that he hoped an additional nine countries would participate in the planned deployment, bringing the total number involved to 15.

``But it is yet to be approved,'' Rathor said when asked which countries would be involved.

Indonesia has requested six countries -- the United States, Britain, Australia, Japan, the Philippines and Germany -- to send police to act as advisers for Indonesian police ahead of the vote.

The situation in Dili was back to normal on Monday following clashes between pro-independence and pro-Jakarta supporters triggered by a gambling dispute, which killed at least one person on Sunday.

Many people were at Dili's Mercado Lama market -- the site of Sunday's clashes -- and the road leading to the market had been unblocked, witnesses said.

Sunday's clashes were the first reported violence between pro-Jakarta forces and independence supporters since the signing last week of the deal on the independence vote.

If the East Timorese reject a package involving wide-ranging autonomy within Indonesia, as widely expected, Jakarta has said it will grant the territory independence.

Indonesia invaded the eastern part of Timor island in 1975 during a power vacuum after the Portuguese colonial administration withdrew. Some 200,000 Timorese have died of war, famine or disease under Indonesian rule.

Back to May Menu
Human Rights Violations in East Timor
Main Postings Menu
June '98 through February '99