Subject: RT: U.N. East Timor mission enters final six months

Also - AP: Security Council extends U.N. mission in East Timor for the last time; UN extends E Timor mission

U.N. East Timor mission enters final six months 16 Nov 2004 21:57:19 GMT Source: Reuters By Irwin Arieff

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 16 (Reuters) - The Security Council extended the life of a U.N. peacekeeping mission in East Timor for a final six months on Tuesday after Secretary-General Kofi Annan argued the fledgling nation was still too fragile to stand up on its own.

A resolution adopted unanimously by the 15-nation council renewed the mission's mandate "for a final period of six months until 20 May, 2005" while instructing it "to focus increasingly on implementing its exit strategy."

East Timor became independent in May 2002 after centuries of Portuguese colonial rule, 24 years of occupation by Indonesia and 2-1/2 years of U.N. administration.

The Timorese people voted overwhelmingly in an August 1999 referendum to break free of Jakarta, prompting a rampage by gangs organized by the Indonesian military.

More than 1,000 people were killed in violence surrounding the vote, prompting Australia to send in troops to restore order. The United Nations then ran the territory until independence.

The U.N. Mission of Support in East Timor, or UNMISET, numbered 11,000 troops and civilians when first authorized in 1999 to guide the territory to nationhood. But it has dwindled to fewer than 1,000 now, including 472 troops and military observers.

Annan, in a report to the Security Council this month, said the overall security situation in East Timor had been "calm and peaceful" in recent months.

But Timorese defense forces lack needed equipment and experience while border security agencies are as yet unable to manage the borders on their own, he said.

The government has in the past feared cross-border attacks by Indonesian gangs and militias and Annan cautioned that "the possibility of exceptional circumstances" beyond the ability of East Timor's national police to handle "cannot be ruled out."

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Security Council extends U.N. mission in East Timor for the last time

November 16, 2004 12:00pm Associated Press WorldStream

UNITED NATIONS_The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Tuesday to extend the U.N. mission in East Timor for a final six months, and expressed concern at the country's failure to punish those responsible for 1999 violence that killed 1,500 people.

In extending the mission's mandate to May 20, 2005, the council acknowledged that East Timor has not reached a "critical threshold of self-sufficiency."

East Timorese voted for independence from Indonesia in 1999. The Indonesian military and its proxy militias struck back, unleashing a wave of violence that displaced 300,000 people.

The United Nations administered the territory for 2 1/2 years, then handed it to the Timorese on May 20, 2002. The country has about 1 million people.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan is studying several proposals on fixing the Serious Crimes Process, East Timor's judicial tribunal which was set up to bring to justice those responsible for the violence.

The resolution adopted Tuesday said the council was concerned about the need "to fight against impunity" and urged nations to keep giving "indispensable assistance."

At a council meeting on Monday, U.S. Ambassador John Danforth urged Annan to send experts to East Timor and Indonesia to figure out how to fix the Serious Crimes Process and Indonesia's separate efforts, under what is called the Ad Hoc Tribunal.

"There must be some level of accountability for those atrocities to create a climate conducive to the development of democratic institutions in both Indonesia and East Timor," Danforth said.

He cited East Timor's limited jurisdiction and the Indonesian tribunal's failure to punish perpetrators of the violence. The Indonesian court charged 18 people _ most from its police and military _ with human rights crimes but 12 were acquitted and four had their sentences overturned on appeal. Appeals in the cases of the two remaining defendants are expected soon.

Annan's special representative for East Timor, Sukehiro Hasegawa, highlighted the failures in a statement to the council Monday and suggested the interim measure of sending experts to archive evidence for future use. The council took no action on Hasegawa's proposal.

In its resolution, the council heeded Annan's recommendation to keep the mission at its present level, six months after it had reduced levels by almost 80 percent.

That means the mission stays at 310 troops, a 125-member international response unit, 42 military liaison officers, 157 civilian police advisers and 58 civilian advisers.

The resolution asks the U.N. mission to ensure "increasing involvement and ownership of the Timorese" in its activities so that when it departs on May 20, they can take over with help from the U.N. system and international donors.

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The Australian

UN extends E Timor mission From correspondents in the United Nations 17nov04

THE UN Security Council voted unanimously today to extend the UN mission in East Timor for a final six months, and expressed concern at the failure to punish those responsible for 1999 violence that killed 1500 people.

In extending the mission's mandate to May 20, 2005, the council acknowledged that East Timor has not reached a "critical threshold of self-sufficiency".

East Timorese voted for independence from Indonesia in 1999. The Indonesian military and its proxy militias struck back, unleashing a wave of violence that displaced 300,000 people.

The United Nations administered the territory for just over two years, then handed it to the Timorese on May 20, 2002.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan is studying several proposals on improving the Serious Crimes Process, East Timor's judicial tribunal which was set up to bring to justice those responsible for the violence.

The resolution adopted overnight said the council was concerned about the need "to fight against impunity" and urged nations to keep giving "indispensable assistance".

At a council meeting on Monday, US Ambassador John Danforth urged Mr Annan to send experts to East Timor and Indonesia to figure out how to fix the Serious Crimes Process and Indonesia's separate efforts, under what is called the Ad Hoc Tribunal.

"There must be some level of accountability for those atrocities to create a climate conducive to the development of democratic institutions in both Indonesia and East Timor," Mr Danforth said.

He cited East Timor's limited jurisdiction and the Indonesian tribunal's failure to punish perpetrators of the violence. The Indonesian court charged 18 people - most from its police and military - with human rights crimes but 12 were acquitted and four had their sentences overturned on appeal. Appeals in the cases of the two remaining defendants are expected soon.

Mr Annan's special representative for East Timor, Sukehiro Hasegawa, highlighted the failures in a statement to the council on Monday and suggested the interim measure of sending experts to archive evidence for future use. The council took no action on Mr Hasegawa's proposal.

In its resolution, the council heeded Mr Annan's recommendation to keep the mission at its present level, six months after it had reduced levels by almost 80 per cent.

That means the mission stays at 310 troops, a 125-member international response unit, 42 military liaison officers, 157 civilian police advisers and 58 civilian advisers.

The resolution asks the UN mission to ensure "increasing involvement and ownership of the Timorese" in its activities so that when it departs on May 20, they can take over with help from the UN system and international donors.


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