Subject: AFP: Indonesian FM says East Timor violence "worrying"
Date: Sat, 15 May 1999 11:15:07 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <>

Indonesian FM says East Timor violence "worrying"

JAKARTA, May 10 (AFP) - Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas on Monday expressed concern over new violence in East Timor between pro-Indonesia militia and independence supporters which has killed at least three people.

"This is worrisome that these days there are still fightings between the pro-and anti-integration groups," Alatas told journalists after meeting President B.J. Habibie at the Negara palace.

He said events in the former Portuguese colony would be a "test" for Indonesian security personnel "whether the trust given to us to keep the peace and order is well-founded."

He said Indonesia's failure to prevent violence would result in mounting pressure from Portugal and other Western countries for the use of UN troops and a postponement of the ballot, scheduled for August 8.

The ballot will enable East Timorese to choose whether they wish to stay part of Indonesia or move toward independence.

"So it is important that security and order be upheld in East Timor", Alatas said.

"What is important is that we show to the world, especially to the UN that we uphold security and order," he said.

He said security in the territory invaded by Indonesian in 1975 is the responsiblity of the Indonesian police and the military was only "providing guidance from behind."

Speaking on jailed East Timor rebel leader Xanana Gusmao, Alatas said Gusmao will remain in detention until a "comprehensive solution" to East Timor's problems is reached.

"We will consider according an amnesty on Xanana Gusmao as part of a comprehensive solution (on East Timor)," Alatas said.

He added however that any amnesty would only be granted after "we reach a settlement...and not before."

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