Subject: AFP: Indonesian police arrest another suspect in UN killings

Agence France Presse October 13, 2000, Friday Indonesian police arrest another suspect in UN killings


Indonesian police have arrested a seventh suspect over last month's killings of three UN relief workers in West Timor, a report said Friday.

Belu district police chief Superintendent S.M. Simatupang said the man, whose identity was not released, was arrested at Wemasa village in the southern part of the district on Wednesday, the Antara news agency said.

"It is true that we have been able to arrest another suspect on Wednesday as the result of our investigation," Simatupang was quoted as saying.

He said the suspect was a member of the pro-Indonesia East Timorese community in West Timor and added that his arrest had proceeded "smoothly," without any resistance.

Hundreds of machete-wielding pro-Indonesian militiamen attacked the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the West Timorese border town of Atambua on September 6.

The attackers killed three foreign UNHCR staff members.

The kilings sparked international condemnation, with the UN Security Council demanding Jakarta disband and disarm the militias.

The Security Council also said it would dispatch a mission to West Timor over the incident, but so far the government has staved off the visit by saying it would not be conducive to settling the case.

The government claims it is currently disarming the civilian population in West Timor where some 130,000 East Timorese remain in squalid refugee camps that Jakarta says it soon intends to close.

The refugees were part of the more than 250,000 East Timorese who were forced to flee militia violence that followed the pro-independence results of a UN-administered ballot in East Timor on August 30 last year.

The Indonesian-backed militia launched a campagin of terror, killings and destruction across the former Portuguese colony that later led to the deployment of international peacekeeping forces there.

Militia members have since fled to West Timor where rights and relief workers said they continued to terrorize and intimidate refugees.

Simatupang said police would continue their investigation into the murders and added that other suspects may join the list.

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