|Subject: Indon military hands Timor security to
Date: Sat, 02 Oct 1999 08:41:50 -0400
Indonesian military hands Timor security to peacekeepers
DILI, East Timor, Sept 27 (AFP) - The Indonesian military on Monday formally handed over responsibility for security in East Timor to the Australian-led multinational force here, witnesses said.
The handover ceremony at the Indonesian military headquarters here was conducted with Indonesian martial law commander Major General Kiki Syahnakri passing responsibility to Major General Peter Cosgrove, commander of the International Force in East Timor (Interfet) shortly after 9:15 am (0115 GMT).
Under the terms of the transfer some aspects of security remained in the hands of the departing Indonesian command, who have some 1,500 men left in the territory, Interfet officers said.
Among the facilities still under Indonesian control are all Indonesian government departments, the airport and telecommunications, they said.
The 1,500 troops will stay until the People's Consultative Assembly (MPR) in Jakarta ratifies the results of the August 30 UN-conducted ballot in East Timor, in which its people voted overwhelmingly for independence.
The Guardian [UK] Monday September 27, 1999
Troops sell food to their victims
Nominally, the foreign force is now in charge
Maggie O'Kane in Dili
International peacekeeping forces numbering fewer than 4,000 take over formal control of East Timor today from the Indonesian army, whose troops were in the last stages of withdrawing from the territory last night.
But they did not leave with out delivering a parting insult to the people they are their local militia allies subjected ti three weeks of terror.
All along the blue peeling railings of the harbour at Dili the soldiers were selling back to starving refugees food they looted from them.
One man held a bag of rice for which he paid about £5; it should cost 40p. Even so, hungry hands were stretched out between the railings begging for more. A soldier pulled open a box of sugar. He wanted £8 for a kilo bag that should cost £1. "Bastards!" screamed a man through the bars.
Around lay the debris of the 80,000 East Timorese shipped out of Dili harbour in the past three weeks as the pro-Indonesian forces sought to clear the territory after it voted for independence in a UN-supervised referendum on August 30: abandoned clothes, rotting food, human waste.
But the army's turn to be sent off had come, and its men, humiliated by the arrival of the international security force, were not happy.
By this morning, about 15,000 will have gone in the space of days. About 4,600 are staying until next month's expected ratification of East Timorese independence by the Indonesian parliament.
The departures seemed not to have made the Australians leading the peace force any less jumpy: after intelligence that a militia attack on journalists staying in a seafront convent was imminent, the peacekeepers switched off the convent's power, causing many of its residents to scamper to a centralised location - the heavily guarded Tourismo hotel.
As hundreds of Indonesian soldiers marched up the gangplanks yesterday, the Australians watched from a distance. Some of those departing were taking it better than others.
Captain David Xinenes, an army doctor, rose to his feet and shook hands - politely. "I am looking forward to seeing my family," he said guardedly. But a footsoldier squatting beside him muttered: "Fuck you."
East Timor having rejected Indonesian rule, the soldiers had to go. They lay around the port on their backpacks, hostile and petulant.
On the wall of the harbourmaster's office someone had scrawled: "Look out, independence will make you suffer."
But a few of the tens of thousands of refugees hiding up the mountain have already come back to Dili. In the suburb of Becora the deserted streets were beginning to fill with people.
The first thing Manuel Martin did when he got back was bury the bodies of Andre Araugo and Jokuim Peres in a shallow grave. Purple hibiscus petals were strewn over the low mound.
The two corpses had lain where they were shot for more than two
World Leaders Contact List The East Timorese need you to speak out for them
Note: For those who would like to fax "the powers that be" - CallCenter V3.5.8, is a Native 32-bit Voice Telephony software application integrated with fax and data communications... and it's free of charge! Download from http://www.v3inc.com/