Subject: AFP: Indonesian troops flooding into East Timor
Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 16:05:39 +1300
From: sonny inbaraj <> Organization: The AustralAsian

Indonesian troops flooding into East Timor: Ramos Horta

Tue 15 Sep 98 - 02:14 GMT

HONG KONG, Sept 15 (AFP) - Pro-independence leader Jose Ramos Horta on Tuesday accused Indonesia of sending 3,000 fresh troops to East Timor and warned the territory was on the verge of a mass uprising.

The Nobel Peace Prize winner dismissed the high-profile withdrawal of 1,000 Indonesian troops from East Timor in July and August as "propaganda", and said Jakarta was acting in bad faith.

"In the last few weeks they have again introduced in East Timor around 3,000 troops," Ramos Horta said in an interview with CNN, monitored here.

"If the Indonesian government continues to act in bad faith and if the army renews hostilities on the ground I am conscious that there is going to be a major uprising throughout the country," he said.

Ramos Horta said there had been no clashes between the new troops and East Timorese resistance forces so far.

But he warned: "If Indonesia renews hostilities in the country, we will have tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of East Timorese throughout the country, East Timor, going into the streets."

Indonesia pulled out 398 soldiers from East Timor on July 28 as part of its pledge and followed with some 700 other troops on August 8.

Indonesian military authorities in Dili also said that on August 5, three companies of soldiers and police mobile brigades, totalling about 300 men, had departed as part of a regular troop rotation.

The Indonesian armed forces (ABRI) on Saturday denied all reports that it had replaced troops that it had withdrawn from East Timor.

Indonesian President B.J. Habibie pledged a "gradual" troop withdrawal from the territory in a meeting with East Timorese Bishop Carlos Belo in June, shortly after he replaced ex-president Suharto.

Suharto ordered the 1975 Indonesian invasion of the former Portuguese colony and its annexation the following year.

Ramos Horta's accusations follow reports that Indonesian troops were spirited into East Timor before and during the highly-publicised pullback.

The Darwin-based East Timor International Support Centre in a press release last week quoted a rebel leader in the eastern region of East Timor as saying 300 troops had arrived there on August 6.

Renan Selak, regional secretary of the Eastern Region for the East Timorese armed resistance force (Falintil), also said in a letter dated September 6 that several thousand troops had arrived before the withdrawal.

In the CNN interview, Ramos Horta again rejected Habibie's offer of limited autonomy for the territory.

"Our problem with President Habibie's offer of autonomy is that the autonomy is conditional on the United Nations recognising the annexation of East Timor. We cannot accept that," he said.

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