|Subject: DPA: Carter Center warn on security and
Date: Sun, 01 Aug 1999 11:20:09 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <email@example.com>
July 28, 1999, Wednesday, BC Cycle
East Timor ballot monitors warn on security and intimidation Dili, East Timor
The Carter Center, the U.S.-based electoral watchdog,, has warned of continuing security and intimidation against voters in East Timor by the Indonesian military and pro-integration militia groups.
In its latest report dated July 27, a copy of which was received by Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa, the center said despite a good start to voter registration "an atmosphere of fear and intimidation continues to prevail in many parts of East Timor."
On Wednesday the United Nations announced the ballot would be delayed by one week to August 30 due to continuing security problems in the troubled territory.
"The Center is particularly concerned about persistent reports of Indonesian military involvement in the activities of pro- integration groups," it said.
The report expressed particular concern about one pro-Indonesian militia group called Saka, based in eastern Baucau district which the US group claimed was armed, trained, equipped, directed and paid by the Indonesian military.
"Local residents in several different areas in Baucau complained of harassment and intimidation by pro-integration groups.
"Residents identified Saka anv Rajawali as militia groups that work in cooperation with the TNI (mil[itary) and say armed members visit them at night, threatening violence and bloodshed after the vote if autonomy is rejected," the Carter Center said.
The report also highlighted the plight of u?L to 40-50,000 internally displaced people, victims of earlier militia'diolence, who have been unable to register to vote.
And it called on the U.N. to more clearly explain its role in East Timor after the ballot following concern by many people for their safety following the referendum.
Reinforcing the Carter Center concerns, the respected Di _ [-based Yayasan-Hak (Foundation for Legal and Human Rights) noted that while security in the provincial capital Dili had improved in recen months, "in the remote areas terror and intimidation still persist."
"Violence committed by the Indonesian military, police, local government officials and militia, has forced tens of thousands of people to le (ve their villages," said the Hak report released on Tuesday.
In several areas, the local population who were terrorised and intimidated, fled to the mountains or forest areas," it said.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in East Timor (Unamet) should open mobile voter registrationn centres to enable displaced people to vote said the report added.
Indonesia invaded the half-island terriritory of East Timor in 1975 following a power vacuum created by the sudden withdrawl of the former colonial power, Portugal. The following year, Indonesia annexed the territory as its 27th province although the grab was never recognised by the U.N. dpa jd