Subject: UN Blames E Timor Violence On Pro-Indonesian Agitators

Associated Press March 9, 2001

UN Blames E Timor Violence On Pro-Indonesian Agitators

DILI, East Timor (AP)--The United Nations mission chief in East Timor on Friday blamed agitators with links to Indonesia for the recent upsurge of violence in the capital Dili and the second-largest city of Baucau.

Sergio Vieira de Mello said "well-known" agitators were responsible for Wednesday's alleged attempt on the life of independence leader Jose Alexandre "Xanana" Gusmao and the subsequent mob violence.

Three members of the small Democratic Republic of East Timor Party were arrested Wednesday in Dili by international police who said they had been tipped off that the men would attempt to kill Gusmao at a public symposium.

"These people are taking us for a ride. They are posing as dogmatic defenders of the independence of East Timor but in reality as we know they appealed in August 1999 for the population of East Timor to vote against independence," said de Mello.

The U.N. has in the past accused hard-line elements within the Indonesian army of infiltrating agents into East Timor in an effort to destabilize the nascent nation.

East Timor has been under U.N. administration since 1999, when its people voted overwhelmingly to end 24 years of Indonesian military occupation.

After the vote, Indonesian troops and their militia proxies murdered hundreds of people and devastated about 80% of the half-island territory.

The U.N. administration is scheduled to withdraw from East Timor next year after it achieves full independence.

De Mello said he was aware Democratic Republic of East Timor Party was receiving outside funding to carry out its activities. However, he said he could not prove the party was still linked with Indonesia.

"A party that supported integration with Indonesia may still have links with some quarters in Jakarta," he said.

A party spokesman has denied any connection to Indonesia, saying the group represented ordinary people who are dissatisfied by the world body's performance in East Timor.


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