Subject: AFP: Nobel laureate Belo urges UN mission for ETimor
Date: Sat, 20 Mar 1999 09:11:56 -0500
From: "John M. Miller" <fbp@igc.apc.org>

Nobel laureate Belo urges UN mission for ETimor

LISBON, March 13

The Timorese bishop and Nobel laureate Ximenes Belo on Saturday said only the deployment of a United Nations mission would push forward the peace process in East Timor.

"I do not trust the Indonesian armed forces," Belo told Lisbon's TSF radio. "Things cannot advance unless there is an international presence in the territory."

Belo told the radio he feared Indonesian soldiers would put pressure on East Timor's residents to accept a draft autonomy package that Jakarta has proposed. If they reject it, Jakarta said in January it would allow the territory to choose independence.

The bishop urged the territory's militias to disarm and the Indonesian soldiers to leave the former Portuguese colony annexed by Jakarta in 1976. He accused the Indonesian troops of creating a "climate of fear" in the territory by convincing the population that chaos would reign there the day the Indonesians leave.

Portugal, which the UN still considers the territory's administrator, made a deal last week with Indonesia to allow the UN organize a vote by direct ballot on the draft autonomy package.

em/sp/pvh

Back to March Menu
Human Rights Violations in East Timor
Main Postings Menu
June '98 through February '99