Subject: SMH: Hatred of 'white men' led to UN slaughter

Sydney Morning Herald January 12, 2001

Hatred of 'white men' led to UN slaughter

By Lindsay Murdoch, Herald Correspondent in Jakarta

Two men firing shots in the air provoked a mob of pro-Jakarta Timorese who took part in one of the most violent attacks ever on United Nations refugee workers, a Jakarta court heard yesterday.

The prosecutor, Mr Widodo Supriyadi, told the court the men shouted "white men have only made us suffer" and other abuse before the mob slaughtered UN workers from the United States, Croatia and Ethiopia.

But Mr Widodo told reporters that police have not charged the two provocateurs, whom he named in court as Igedio Manek and Julio de Carmo. No further details were given about them.

Six Timorese men faced a tightly guarded court in north Jakarta yesterday on charges of manslaughter and violence leading to the deaths of the UN workers in the small West Timor town of Atambua on September 6.

Prosecutors said the workers were stabbed or beaten to death before their bodies were dragged outside a UN building and set alight.

The violence had occurred as Timorese were attending the funeral of a pro-Jakarta militia leader, Olivio Mendoza Moruk.

Three judges adjourned the trial for a week so defence lawyers could prepare their case.

One of the accused, Julius Naisama, 30, told the Herald while being escorted from the court that he felt insulted by the way "white people" had treated his people in East Timor.

"I killed those three white men with my friends all right," Naisama said.

"And I got jailed for that. But let me ask you something - do they [white men] get arrested for shooting our police in our own territory?"

When asked if he was sorry, Naisama said: "In East Timor, my dignity has been trampled on by those white people. If the people here do not honour my dignity I do not know any more. You see, dignity is not sold in stores ..."

Mr Widodo told the court Naisama attacked and stabbed Mr Pero Simundza, a Croatian, and Mr Carlos Caceres. an American. About the same time three other Timorese, Alves da Cruz, Jose Fransisco and Joao Martins, beat Mr Samson Aregahegn, an Ethiopian, to death after he had thrown a stone at them.

The killings outraged the international community and forced the UN and aid agencies to evacuate hundreds of international staff from West Timor.

They still have not returned to the province, where tens of thousands of Timorese refugees are languishing in squalid camps.

The UN has warned that unless justice is seen to be done the UN could consider the setting up of an international court.

Hundreds of pro-Jakarta Timorese who on Tuesday attended a court appearance on minor firearms charges by the militia leader Eurico Guterres attended yesterday's hearing.

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