Dili, 3 September 1999

The Honorable Kofi Annan
United Nations Secretary-General
New York, NY 10017 USA
By fax to: 1-212-963-2155

Your Excellency:

We approach you with a most urgent request.

The International Federation for East Timor Observer Project has 100 international observers in East Timor and has come to the conclusion that the situation here is deteriorating quickly.

East Timorese sources inform us that they fear an imminent bloodbath. Armed militia seem to have free reign to exercise control over those who leave via the airport or harbor. In addition, they have an extensive network of roadblocks around East Timor, and they are already exerting total control over certain areas. In the last 24 hours they have burnt entire villages and sections of large towns. Just today, militia members threatened IFET-OP observers today with death, kicked and punched our observers just outside a police station, and waved guns in their faces.

It is clear that significant portions of the Indonesian military and police are actively or passively supporting the militia violence.

The only option to deal with the current situation in East Timor is to send an armed peacekeeping force. Only this can enhance the security of the East Timorese people and all the foreigners present here.

We request that you do everything in your power to convince those forces in the Indonesian government and military who support a peaceful consultation process to immediately accept international assistance through an armed peacekeeping force. We would consider this a sign of strength on the part of the Indonesian government.

If we can be of any help with providing you more information we will be more than glad to do so.

We wish you wisdom and strength in order to make a just decision.

For the International Federation for East Timor Observer Project,

Yours sincerely,

Saskia Kouwenberg
Coordinator IFET-OP  

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