Subject: CNRT: Press Statement Xanana Gusmao
Date: Sat, 27 Mar 1999 09:20:34 -0500
From: "John M. Miller" <fbp@igc.apc.org>

PRESS STATEMENT XANANA GUSMAO

xanana gusmão CNRT Timor-Leste

PRESS STATEMENT

During the past week, we have noted that the situation in East Timor has deteriorated significantly, with an escalation of violence organised by the military secret intelligence (SGI), as they orchestrate the intimidation campaign carried out by the civilian militia groups they recently set up and armed. This escalation jeopardises all efforts towards reconciliation between the East Timorese, which we truly believe possible, and also threatens to derail ongoing diplomatic efforts.

Numerous governments and non-government agencies world-wide have generously offered to assist and co-operate with the new Nation of East Timor. We wish to express our deepest gratitude for such generous and prompt offers of assistance. However, the present situation calls for immediate action at a political and diplomatic level in order to ensure that future conditions for the delivery and management of such aid and co-operation exist.

Despite our need and wish to be forward-looking and to begin to make preparations for the re-building of our Motherland, the immediate disarmament and disbanding of these civilian militias is our most urgent priority, all the more so in the light of the latest events in the administrative post of Maliana (20th March 1999).

Unfortunately, in view of the current situation, the establishment of a UN Police Force which I had previously been calling for, would no longer suffice to guarantee the safety of the population. These groups are not waging war against FALINTIL, but rather murdering defenceless civilians. Much to my displeasure and sadness, if this does not stop IMMEDIATELY, I see no other option but to shift my call for a UN Police Force to a UN Peace Keeping Force.

The cycle of violence has to be broken. Violence must stop in East Timor. We call on the United Nations and governments around the world to exert the strongest pressure on Indonesia to make good the promise made to the international community to bring about a peaceful and internationally acceptable solution to the East Timor problem.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

For further information: Paula Isabel + 62 (0) 816 11 44 917 ###

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