Subject: Lusa: Peacekeepers Alert, Security Context Unchanged - Vieira de Mello

East Timor: Peacekeepers Alert, Security Context Unchanged - Vieira de Mello 14 Aug-15:14

UN forces in East Timor are "alert" to new attacks by pro- Indonesia militias, despite the calm reigning since Friday, the Territory's chief UN transition administrator told media Monday in Dili.

The "context" of insecurity has "still not changed," Sergio Vieira de Mello said, adding that "those who dare" to disrupt public order in the country will pay "a very high price." On Saturday he had announced that the PKF would adopt counter-guerrilla measures in the wake of clashes with militia infiltrators near the Indonesian border.

Portuguese peacekeepers found nothing during a security sweep of the Ainaro region about 40 kms from the frontier, following rumors that local residents were preparing to flee their homes, Vieira de Mello said. However, he stressed that while the situation was "stable," the possibility of danger remained.

The UNTAET (UN Transition Administration in East Timor) chief recalled that upcoming significant dates that could give rise to incidents are Indonesian independence day on Aug. 17 and the Aug. 30 first anniversary of the East Timor independence plebiscite.

An overwhelming majority of East Timorese voted for independence in that ballot. The 24-year Indonesian occupation ended last October and East Timor has since been governed by UNTAET, which has a mandate to prepare it for full independence.

On Thursday, peacekeeper Devi Ram Yaishi died and three other Nepalese peacekeepers were wounded after being attacked by presumed militias in Beco, near the south coast in the Ainaro district. Three weeks earlier a New Zealand peacekeeper was killed in the neighboring Suai district, during a clash near the Indonesian border.

In the wake of these attacks, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged Indonesia Friday to prevent militia incursions into East Timor.

In a statement released by the UN, Annan said he was "concerned about the increased activities of armed men" in areas near the territory's border with Indonesian West Timor.


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