Subject: SMH/E.Timor: Sightings reported of peacekeeper's killer

Sydney Morning Herald September 30, 2000

Sightings reported of peacekeeper's killer

Mark Dodd, Herald Correspondent in Dili

The Timorese militia leader responsible for shooting dead New Zealand peacekeeper Private Leonard Manning in July has been seen in East Timor, a senior UN military official said yesterday.

Colonel Phil Gibbons, the New Zealand Chief of Operations for the UN Peacekeeping Force, said unconfirmed reports had been received of two sightings, one in East Timor and another in Indonesian West Timor, this month.

"We can't substantiate the sightings but we are pretty sure he is still operating in both East and West Timor," Colonel Gibbons said.

Private Manning was the first UN soldier to die in action in East Timor after his patrol surprised a group of well-armed members of the Laksaur militia on July 24. The soldier, a lead scout, died instantly after being shot in the head. The body was mutilated by his militia killers.

New Zealand investigators say the recently reported death of a militiaman known as Jacobus Bere in West Timor is not the man of the same name they are looking to arrest and question in relation to Private Manning's death.

Captain Mick Tafe, spokesman for United Nations peacekeepers based at Sector West headquarters in Suai, told the Herald that the Indonesian military had records of at least 40 "Jacobus Bere" militiamen, a popular cover name among insurgent groups.

Meanwhile, Australian Brigadier Ken Gillespie, the new UN commander of Sector West, says he has positive information on the whereabouts of Private Manning's Steyr-Aug rifle.

Brigadier Gillespie said the rifle had been seen several times in West Timor and that the peacekeeping force had requested Indonesian authorities to ensure the rifle was included among the weapons being handed in by militia groups.

A four-day voluntary handover of weapons expired on Thursday. The Indonesian military says it will use force to collect weapons still being held by the militias.

September Menu
World Leaders Contact List
Human Rights Violations in East Timor
Main Postings Menu

Note: For those who would like to fax "the powers that be" - CallCenter V3.5.8, is a Native 32-bit Voice Telephony software application integrated with fax and data communications... and it's free of charge! Download from