Subject: AFP: UN Security Council delegation to visit Indonesia

UN Security Council delegation to visit Indonesia

JAKARTA, Sept 25 (AFP) - Indonesian Foreign Minister Alwi Shihab will go to New York next month to arrange for a UN Security Council delegation to check on the situation in West Timor after the killing of three UN aid workers there, the ministry said Monday.

The ministry said Shihab would visit New York on October 11-12 to "work out a plan ... on a date for the Security Council delegation to visit Indonesia."

The objective of the mission, it said, would be to "observe the progress made by Indonesia in carrying out the Security Council Resolution 1319."

The Security Council adopted the resolution after pro-Jakarta militiamen in West Timor hacked to death three UN High Commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) workers in the border town of Atambua on September 6.

The resolution calls for the murderers to be brought to justice, and for the militia to be disarmed and disbanded.

Jakarta at first rejected the mission, saying it would be interpreted by Indonesians as interference, and pledged to carry out the resolution itself.

On Monday the government announced it had extended until Wednesday the first phase of an operation which began Friday to disarm militias blamed for the killings.

"It is hoped that they will hand over more weapons voluntarily," said Coordinating Minister for Security and Socio-political Affairs Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Yudhoyono was speaking to journalists after meeting with President Abdurrahman Wahid to report on his visit to West Timor on Sunday, where he attended a mass weapons handover ceremony.

During the ceremony militias submitted 1,200 home-made weapons, 19 automatic rifles and five hand grenades to police.

Officials have said they would use force after the initial voluntary handover period if they believed militias were still hiding weapons.

However, Yudhoyono said disarming militiamen would not solve all the problems in West Timor, and urged the UN to help with plans to repatriate and relocate 130,000 refugees languishing in squalid camps there.

"We urge the UN and the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor to register the refugees to determine those who want to go back to East Timor and those who want to remain Indonesian," the minister said.

The UN has refused to send its aid workers back to West Timor unless security improves. Four hundred fled after the killings.

Yudhoyono described the refugee issue as "fundamental" and appealed to the international community to help resolve the problem.

Asked about the future of the militiamen, Yudhoyono said without elaborating the "pro-integration fighters should be treated well."

"However Indonesia will be unhappy if they take up arms and do things that disturb security," he said.

He added efforts should be made to reconcile pro-independence East Timorese with their pro-Indonesian compatriots.

The UNHCR and other aid agencies had been working with the refugees, who have been living in West Timor camps since they were driven out of East Timor in the wake of last year's August 30 ballot, which resulted in an overwhelming vote for independence from Indonesia.

On Monday US ambassador to Jakarta Robert Gelbard warned Indonesia risks losing international support if it fails to bring the killers of three UN aid workers to justice and disband the militias in West Timor.

"Indonesia risks losing moral support ... if this issue is not addressed," Gelbard told an economic conference here co-hosted by his embassy.

Gelbard was echoing comments by US Defence Secretary Willian Cohen in Jakarta earlier this month that failure to restore security in West Timor "will have consequences for Jakarta's relations with the international community and could jeopardize continued economic assistance to Indonesia."

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