Subject: AFP: Japanese envoy asks Habibie to assure stability in East Timor
Date: Sat, 22 May 1999 10:12:43 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <fbp@igc.apc.org>

Received from Joyo Indonesian News:

Japanese envoy asks Habibie to assure stability in East Timor

JAKARTA, May 17 (AFP) - Japanese envoy Seiichiro Noboru on Monday urged President B.J. Habibie to make sure Indonesian security forces "guarantee stability" in East Timor.

"I told the president that the police and security personnel should guarantee the stability there (East Timor)," Noboru, a special envoy of Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, told journalists.

East Timor has seen a recent series of violent incidents, mainly attacks by armed pro-Indonesia militia on pro-independence supporters that have left scores of dead in the weeks.

In the latest incident, militias killed at least five villagers in Atsabe district in just before dawn on Sunday, according to reports received by a UN mission in Dili, the capital of East Timor.

The UN mission, in a statement, also called for "determined actions" from the appropriate Indonesian security authorities to curtail the armed militias.

The violence has escalated despite the signing of an agreement on an autonomy package for East Timor between Indonesia and Portugal at the United Nations on May 5.

On the feasibility of Tokyo contributing to a UN civilian police force to supervise the August vote, Noboru said his government would wait for the findings of a Japanese fact finding team now in East Timor.

The Japanese team has been studying how and if Tokyo could help assure a peaceful ballot in August, including whether it was feasible for Japan to send personnel under a UN civilian police to be deployed in the former Portuguese colony.

The United Nations and Jakarta have both asked Japan and some 35 other countries to contribute to the UN personnel needed to secure the polls.

The vote will ask the East Timorese whether they want autonomy or independence from Indonesia.

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