Subject: RT: Troop buildup in E Timor
Date: Thu, 24 Sep 1998 12:01:31 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <fbp@igc.apc.org>

Thursday September 24, 8:47 am Eastern Time Indonesia said increasing troops in East Timor

JAKARTA, Sept 24 (Reuters) - The Indonesian military has increased its presence in East imor in an apparent attempt to quell the guerrilla movement in the disputed territory, residents and church sources said on Thursday.

``I have travelled to the southern and eastern parts of East Timor and I have seen an increasing presence of troops there,'' one church source said by telephone from the territory's capital Dili.

``I haven't heard of any attacks on the guerrillas yet,'' the source added.

A military officer contacted in Dili declined comment.

Indonesia is still facing armed resistance by the Fretilin guerrilla movement, estimated at little more than 200, operating in the eastern part of the territory of 800,000 people.

Residents said an increased military presence was reported in the towns of Manatuto, Viqueque, Baucau and Los Palos regencies.

Indonesia invaded the former Portuguese colony in 1975 and annexed it the following year in a move not recognised by the United Nations.

It is coming under increasing pressure to allow a referendum on self-determination in the territory, though Jakarta insists that East Timorese elected to have Indonesian rule in the 1970s.

Human rights organisations have accused Indonesian troops of persistent human rights abuses in East Timor.

Some estimates say that around 200,000 people have died in the fighting and from starvation and disease since Indonesia took over.

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