Subject: LUSA: Gov´t must tackle security problems, says defense for chief

24 Jun 02 17:25 East Timor: Gov´t must tackle security problems, says defense force chief

The commander of the East Timor Defense Force (ETDF), Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak, said Monday that internal security problems that persist in Timor must be resolved by the Dili government.

"It´s a problem of law and order, coupled with political problems. It must be the government that acts, so that we are not later accused. When things go well, people applaud. But when things go badly, accusations are made", Matam Ruak told Lusa.

Timor´s military commander said that he was recently contacted by various individuals, including Dili`s chief administrator, to intervene and iron out some existing problems in the capital.

Matam Ruak said he had refused to get involved, telling those seeking action to go to the government. The problems involved people connected to politics, as well as crime and other matters outside of the ETDF`s remit, he added.

Xanana Gusmao said in his first presidential address, at the beginning of June, that he was worried by several "important" questions, including security and future role of the Timorese resistance.

Many Timorese are equally concerned with the behavior of ex-Falintil guerrillas and other war veteran groups, but particular concern has been voiced over the Popular Defense Committee of the Democratic Republic of East Timor (CPD- RDTL), a renegade political party which has regularly been accused of fomenting instability over the past three years.

Xanana Gusmao said recently that the CPD-RDTL is a problem for Timor. Internal dialog between all Timorese is necessary for national reconciliation, said the president.

CJB/ASP -Lusa-

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