Subject: Army-backed militias now in W. Timor too: Human Rights Watch
Date: Sat, 11 Sep 1999 07:44:44 EDT

Army-backed militias now in West Timor too: Human Rights Watch

WASHINGTON, Sept 11 (AFP) - Refugees fleeing to West Timor are still at the mercy of the army-backed militias which are wreaking havoc in East Timor, Human Rights Watch said in a statement.

The group said the the same army-backed militias running amok in East Timor are now in West Timor, patrolling refugee camps, bus terminals and the main airport.

In some instances, pro-independence refugees have been attacked, the human rights group said.

Human Rights Watch called upon the Indonesian government to ensure the safety of displaced people and international relief workers.

"Any camp under the control of the Indonesian armed forces cannot offer reliable protection right now to people fleeing East Timor," said Sidney Jones, director of the Asian division of Human Rights Watch, in the statement.

"It's clear that the same militias who are responsible for the devastation over the last week in East Timor have pushed the crisis into West Timor," Jones continued.

"They appear to have forcibly expelled thousands of terrified people by truck or boat, then handed them over to local security forces who control the camps," Jones said.

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