|Subject: FT: Indonesian military openly joins in
attacks in E Timor
Date: Tue, 7 Sep 1999 04:04:58 EDT
also: [FT] Killings in test world patience
Financial Times Tuesday September 7 1999
East Timor violence spirals 'out of control'
By Sander Thoenes in Jakarta, Richard Wolffe in Washington and agencies
Indonesia's military and police openly joined attacks by militia on supporters of independence in East Timor yesterday as the country's national police chief described the security situation in the territory as "out of control".
Pro-Jakarta gangs ran wild, killing and burning and forcing an exodus of refugees. Hundreds were thought dead in an orgy of militia violence since last week's United Nations-run ballot, in which almost 80 per cent voted to break away from 23 years of Indonesian rule.
The day's events prompted renewed international pressure for the UN to intervene in the former Portuguese colony. Australia put troops on emergency alert, reducing the time it would take to send peacekeeping forces to 24 hours from 72, John Moore, its defence minister, said.
He said this would give Australia more options, including "the capability to contribute to any international security presence in East Timor". But he said peacekeeping forces could only be deployed with the agreement of the Indonesian government.
US President Bill Clinton yesterday called John Howard, the Australian prime minister, to discuss the deteriorating conditions in East Timor.
The White House said Mr Clinton voiced support for the Australian offer to send its military forces to restore peace. However, the administration insists such intervention could only take place with the support of the Indonesian government, and the US has not yet offered military or logistical backing of its own.
Madeleine Albright, US secretary of state, said yesterday that responsibility for ending the violence lay with the Indonesian government. US officials said if the Indonesian forces were unable to control the situation, they should allow "the international community" to assist.
Yesterday evening the UN said a five-member security council mission from the UK, Slovenia, Malaysia, Namibia and the Netherlands would leave for Indonesia later in the day to press for action.
In Geneva Mary Robinson, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, called on Indonesian security forces and pro-Indonesian militias to end immediately "their deliberate policy of terror and displacement".
"There is very clear evidence of collusion between elements of the security forces and the militias to deport East Timorese forcibly to West Timor and elsewhere," she said.
General Roesmanhadi, Indonesia's police chief, pledged further to boost troops in East Timor, beyond the 20,000 soldiers and police already posted.
One diplomat in Jakarta said, however, that Indonesian police and military were among those who ransacked the residence of Bishop Carlos Belo in Dili.
A UN official said some UN staff had been threatened by militia and some had been evacuated to the northern Australian city of Darwin. Living conditions in the UN compound were "very difficult" and there had been an influx of refugees. "Our own compound here has become a bit of a refugee camp," he said.
Financial Times Tuesday September 7 1999
EAST TIMOR: Killings test world patience
By Gwen Robinson in Sydney and agencies
Alexander Downer, the Australian foreign minister, said yesterday that a multinational security force could be assembled to enter East Timor within several days, and that Australia would be prepared to lead such a force if it gained endorsements from Indonesia and the United Nations Security Council.
There were signs of growing international impatience about the widening violence in East Timor yesterday after Sunday's decision by the Security Council to send a mission to Jakarta. It made no move towards approving a peacekeeping force.
The stated purpose of the trip, agreed during an emergency session late on Sunday, was to discuss "concrete steps to allow the peaceful implementation" of the August 30 East Timor referendum on independence, said the council's president, Netherlands ambassador Peter van Walsum.
But Portugal's top diplomat in Indonesia condemned the council for failing to act decisively. "It is time for international intervention whatever the name," said Ana Gomes.
In Vietnam, Madeleine Albright, the visiting US secretary of state, said she had tried unsuccessfully to reach Ali Alatas, the Indonesian foreign minister, to discuss the situation.
"We have made clear... our displeasure with what's going on," she said. "The main point is that either Indonesia has to take care of the situation itself or allow the international community to come in."
In Beijing a Chinese official said that China would support the idea of a UN peacekeeping force for East Timor as long as this did not run counter to the wishes of Indonesia.
Australia's impatience was fuelled by "outrage" at attacks on the car carrying the Australian ambassador, John McCarthy, in East Timor. Mr Downer indicated that Australia would support moves by the International Monetary Fund to suspend financial aid to Jakarta if it did not respond to requests for action in East Timor.
For the first time, however, he indicated there were signs Jakarta might soften its stance: "We very much hope. . . that the Indonesian cabinet at its meeting today will start to relent on the insertion of an international force." Mr Downer said both he and John Howard, the prime minister, had held discussions yesterday with Kofi Annan, the UN secretary-general, and governments of various countries.
In Singapore, John Battle, a British Foreign Office minister, issued a warning to Indonesia that it had to accept foreign intervention if it could not quell the violence in East Timor.