Subject: Portuguese Paper: Timorese Rebels Surrendering

BBC Monitoring Asia Pacific

February 28, 2008

Timorese rebels surrendering

Source: Diario de Noticias website, Lisbon, in Portuguese 28 Feb 08

Excerpt from report by Portuguese newspaper Diario de Noticias website on 28 February

More than 500 petitioners - former members of the armed forces - are now confined to barracks in Dili, Lusa [Portuguese news agency] reported yesterday.

The process to confine the so-called petitioners to barracks started in February 2007, at the invitation of the Timorese government after nearly two years of deadlock in the situation of these former soldiers.

The government prepared a location in the centre of the city to receive the hundreds of former soldiers, who in 2006 caused the political and military crisis affecting the country. On the first day of the process 71 former soldiers gave themselves up, but as of yesterday there were 557 men confined to barracks. Most of these men arrived from several districts in the last three days. They have been transported and processed by Falintil [East Timor National Liberation Armed Forces], the Timorese National Police, the UN police and International Stabilization Forces.

Australian and New Zealand helicopters have been carrying the petitioners from more distant areas, such as Oecussi, an enclave on the western part of the island [belonging to Indonesia].

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