Subject: SMH- Children executed as militia rampage continues, says UN
Date: Sat, 18 Sep 1999 07:33:12 -0600

The Sydney Morning Herald Saturday, September 18, 1999

- NEWS UPDATE

Children executed as militia rampage continues, says UN

Four children were executed as pro-Jakarta militia forces continued to deport East Timorese to West Timor while the destruction and looting in East Timor continued before the arrival this weekend of an Australian-led multinational force, a UN spokesman said today.

In one instance, Indonesian troops were involved in the destruction of a village near Dili, capital of East Timor, said spokesman Fred Eckhard.

Eckhard said a UN convoy with the International Committee of the Red Cross carrying food supplies to the village Dare came across an Indonesian military campaign in which some 50 uniformed troops were torching the village and chasing the population away. "While this kind of thing is common, what is uncommon is that the Indonesian military, or TNI, were openly involved," he said.

Eckhard said four children walking out of Dare towards Dili were caught by the militias and executed.

In other parts near Dili, the number of displaced East Timorese hiding from the militias had decreased from 5,000 to 6,000 to about 2,000 and there was no indication where the missing had gone, Eckhard said.

"There continued to be reports of large convoys of trucks carrying loot towards West Timor as the TNI gradually pulled out of East Timor," he said.

About 4,000 Indonesian troops will remain in East Timor to secure utility facilities before the arrival of the multinational force.

Eckhard, quoting the Australian defence ministry, said eight countries had confirmed their participation in the multinational force, called Interfet.

These are New Zealand, the United States, Canada, Britain, Portugal, France, Brazil and Italy. Talks were being held with Thailand, the Philippines, Indonesia and Malaysia for their possible participation in the force.

The first of the 7,000 Australian troops are scheduled to arrive in East Timor this weekend.

Eckhard said about 100 international staff had volunteered to remain in Dili "at their own risk" to care for the East Timorese refugees.

Mary Robinson, UN high commissioner for human rights, today sent a report on the human rights in East Timor to the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva. The commission was requested by Portugal to hold a debate on East Timor, but there was no indication today whether it would meet the request.

Robinson said there was "overwhelming evidence that East Timor has seen a deliberate, vicious and systematic campaign of gross violations of human rights. I condemn those responsible in the strongest terms."

She urged the Indonesian government to cooperate in setting an international commission of inquiry on the alleged human rights violations.

DPA


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