Subject: LUSA: UN on Watch for Security-style Partisan Groups

24 Aug 01 11:47 East Timor: UN on Watch for Security-style Partisan Groups

Some East Timorese political forces have set up security-style partisan groups in preparation for next week´s elections but have not generated any problems, UN administration officials said Friday.

One official told Lusa that UN peacekeepers met this week with one such group, allegedly organized by the favored Fretilin party, to advise them that election security was the responsibility of the peacekeepers in tandem with Timorese defense force personnel.

"There have been no problems", the official said, adding that other parties had also organized activists in similar ways.

Fretilin leader Mari Alkatiri denied, in comments to Lusa, that his party had any private security apparatus, saying the groups aimed to assure "stability" and "better organize" election campaign events.

"Security is the responsibility of the UN", Alkatiri added.

UN police spokesman Luis Carrilho said there were "rumors" that some partisan groups planned to deploy groups of activists near voting stations next Thursday.

"They can´t substitute the security structures", he said, adding that if the groups acted like "scouts, helping people with water and food", they would be granted "freer movement".

SAS -Lusa-

© 1997 Lusa Comentários e Sugestões para Agência Lusa

-- Posted by Eliot Hoffman, East Timor Action Network/US, www.etan.org


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