Subject: etpost - JP: Jakarta accuses UNAMET of partiality
Date: Sat, 12 Jun 1999 10:25:36 -0400
From: (TAPOL)


JAKARTA (JP): Two senior ministers alleged the United Nations Assistance Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) on Wednesday of favor-ing antiintegration groups and ignoring prointegration organizations.

Coordinating Minister for Political and Security Affairs Gen. (ret) Feisal Tanjung and Minister of Defense and Security Gen. Wiranto told a plenary Cabinet meeting that UNAMET only agreed to dis-arm proIndonesian groups and refused to disarm the proindependence armed group Falintil.

"Protests from antiintegra-tion groups are always fol-lowed up quickly," Feisal was quoted by Minister of Information Lt. Gen. Muhammad Yunus as telling the Cabinet meeting.

"Prointegration groups feel the UNAMET spokesman sided with their rivals," said Wiranto, according to Yunus.

Feisal said one indication of the one-sidedness could be seen from a local press report carried by the Suara Timor Timur newspaper on May 26, which quoted UNAMET spokesman David Wimhurst as saying that UNAMET had nothing to do with the disar-mament of the Falintil.

"The President has asked the foreign minister to take steps related to these indications of partiality," Yunus remarked.

Gen. Wiranto, who is also the Indonesian Military (TNI) chief, listed 30 incidents of violence by the proindepen-dence groups since early May, including armed clashes with TNI troops.

The general also reported that certain antiIndonesian forces appeared to have acquired new weapons recent-ly, especially since several unidentified helicopter flights had been detected in the territory.


"Security forces felt that in the several most recent armed clashes with the antiintegra-tion group, there has been a use of other weapons different from the usual ones, "Wiranto was quoted by Yunus as saying.

Wiranto also pointed out that several trade vessels with helipads were sailing around in international waters near East Timor which have been detected by satellites.

Wiranto said Australia had denied that the choppers belong to the country.

"Australia said it did not make any flights (to East Timor),"Wiranto reported.

Meanwhile, in Dili UNAMET has urged about 8,000 East Timorese refugees now taking shelter in the East Nusa Tenggara border, particularly Belu regency, to go home to participate in the Aug. 8 ballot.

Wimburst urged the Indonesian Police on Wednesday to help create a conducive situation to ~ speed up the return of the refugees.

"Security is very vital for the process of the return of the refugees and the police are asked to pay serious attention to it to convince the refugees to return," he said.

Meanwhile, UNAMET chairman Ian Martin met with East Timor Police chief Col. G.M. Timbul Silaen, Wira Dharma Military Resort Commander Col. Tono Suratman, East Timor Governor Abilio Jose Osorio Soares and Dili Bishop Mgr. Carlos Filipe Ximenes Belo in Dili on Wednesday.

The meeting was aimed mainly at discussing activities of the UN mission to prepare the balloting.

Wimburst also explained that the UN flag was sched-uled to be officially hoisted for the first time at the UN mis-sion's headquarters on J1. de Balide in Dili on Thursday.

The flag hoisting will be held in a modest ceremony which is expected to be attended by the East Timor governor and other high rank-ing officials and representa-tives of both prointegration and proindependence factions, he said.

Meanwhile, East Timor rebel leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Jose Ramos -Horta said in Washington he will return to Jakarta this month for the first time in 24 years for meetings with other leaders of the -Timorese resistance.

AFP reported on Tuesday Ramos-Horta — currently en route from Lisbon to Sydney — said he had received per-mission from Indonesian authorities to visit Jakarta after the national election on June 7.

Whether Ramos-Horta would also be permitted to visit the troubled territory of EastTimor was not immedi-ately clear.

But he offered a conciliatory message ahead of his visit to Indonesian President B.J. Habibie and to critics who oppose his campaign to free the predominantly Catholic territory from Indonesian rule.

"It seems that the Indonesian government has given its approval for a trip by me to Indonesia for meetings with the resistance leader Xanana Gusmao, (and) bish-ops Belo and Basilio do Nascimento," he said.

"We will then have a meeting with many other East Timorese, including those linked with the armed militia gangs," he said, adding that he planned his trip for mid-June after Indonesia's June 7 national election. (prb/33/hhr)

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