Subject: RT: UN to send some 280 police advisers to East Timor
Date: Sat, 29 May 1999 11:36:19 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <fbp@igc.apc.org>

UN to send some 280 police advisers to East Timor 03:24 p.m May 24, 1999 Eastern

By Evelyn Leopold

UNITED NATIONS, May 24 (Reuters) - Blaming anti-independence groups for violence in East Timor, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said on Monday he was sending up to 280 U.N. civilian police advisers to the former Portuguese colony Indonesia controls.

In a key report to the Security Council on a U.N.-organised vote on the future of East Timor, Annan also said he was considering assigning a number of military liaison officers to ``maintain contact with their Indonesian counterparts.''

The United Nations has begun a complicated operation, to be known as the U.N. Mission in East Timor or UNAMET, for an Aug. 8 ballot to ascertain whether 400,000 voters in the territory want autonomy within Indonesia or independence.

Annan indirectly disputed Jakarta's contention that the bloodshed, which escalated after Indonesian President B.J. Habibie in January spoke of independence for East Timor, was caused by both pro-independence and pro-integrationist groups.

``I regret to inform the Security Council that credible reports continued to be received of political violence, including intimidation and killings, by armed militias against unarmed pro-independence civilians,'' he wrote in the report.

``Furthermore there are indications that the militias, believed by many observers to be operating with the acquiescence of elements of the (Indonesian) army, have not only in recent weeks begun to attack pro-independence groups but are beginning to threaten moderate pro-integration supporters as well,'' he said.

Annan said that while Indonesia had responsibility for maintaining order during the vote, he would send police advisers, beginning in mid-June, to liaison with Indonesian police and supervise the movement of ballot papers. A total of up to 280 experienced officers would be required, he said.

The foreign ministers of Indonesia and Portugal signed landmark accords in New York earlier this month on the poll for East Timor, which Indonesia invaded in 1975 and annexed a year later in a move not recognised by the United Nations.

Some 200,000 Timorese died in fighting or as a result of hunger and disease that followed Indonesia's occupation, blackening Jakarta's international reputation.

Annan said a Commission on Peace and Stability, called for in the accords, had not been able to function because of the inability of pro-independence representatives to attend as a consequence of ``threats posed by armed militia.''

Outlining the composition of the $53 million UNAMET mission, which so far has 24 personnel in East Timor, Annan said Jamsheed Marker, the Pakistani diplomat who negotiated the accords, would continue to serve as his personal representative while Ian Martin of Britain would be his special representative in charge of the mission.

Martin, whose appointment was released unofficially last week, is the former secretary-general of Amnesty International and has held key posts in U.N. human rights missions in Bosnia, Rwanda and Haiti.

UNAMET will have a total of 241 international staff and 420 U.N. volunteers to monitor polling stations as well as some 4,000 local staff. They would be based in the East Timor capital of Dili and seven regional centres, the report said.

Polling will also be conducted in a variety of cities in Australia, the United States, Portugal, Macau, Mozambique as well as Indonesia. The Australian Election Commission and the International Organisation for Migration will conduct balloting among Timorese exiles for the United Nations.

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