Subject: US ambassador warns militia in W Timor to stop violence

also: NTT governor: Reports of militia terror against refugees 'baseless'

US ambassador warns militia in West Timor to stop violence

DILI, East Timor, Nov 2 (AFP) - US ambassador to Indonesia Robert Gelbard on Tuesday warned the pro-Jakarta militia operating in West Timor that they must stop using force or the United States would resort to any means possible to stop them. "I met with some integration leaders last night. I was crystal clear that force and violence is something that cannot be used," Gelbard told AFP in an interview at Dili's Comoro airport.

"I told them that the international community starting with the United States would use everything we could against them if they resorted to the use of force."

Gelbard arrived in Dili after touring refugee camps in the West Timor towns of Kupang and Atambua and said he was alarmed at the influence of the pro-Jakarta East Timorese miltia there.

"It's very clear that we still see the influence of the militias in some of the camps, certainly in the camps I went to," he said.

Gelbard said the purpose of his visit here was because "the situation in East Timor is obviously something of enormous importance to the United States government as well as to the rest of the international community."

During his visit Tuesday and Wednesday he will meet with Ian Martin, the acting head of the UN Transitional Austhority in East Timor (UNTAET) and Major General Peter Cosgrove, commander of Interfet.

On Wednesday morning a meeting is planned with National Council for East Timorese Resistance (CNRT) leader Xanana Gusmao.


Indonesian Observer 2nd November 1999

NTT governor denies militia terror against refugees

JAKARTA (IO) ­ The East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) governor yesterday denied reports that East Timor’s pro-integration forces have launched terror and intimidation against refugees living in makeshift camps in the neighbouring province.

Reports that militias terrorized East Timorese refugees in NTT or West Timor were baseless, Piet Tallo was quoted by Antara as saying in the province’s capital of Kupang.

The government made the denial in a meeting with Australian parliamentarian Kevin M. Rudd and Deputy Australian Ambassador in Jakarta Leslierowe.

Tallo said it was also not true that NTT, which shares a border with East Timor, has turned into a training ground for pro-integration East Timorese forces.

"The allegations are exaggerated," he added.

"Australia, which leads an international force in East Timor, should be capable of asking the militia for a reconciliation [with pro-independence supporters]. Australia should not forget the humanitarian aspects of the refugee problems," he said.

Tallo expressed hope that the visit of Rudd and Leslierowe would minimize the misunderstanding between Indonesia and Australia over East Timor, and of the handling of East Timorese refugees in West Timor.

Rudd said his meeting with Governor Tallo has made him aware of many issues which he had so far not known.

Rudd pledged to inform the Australian parliament of what he has heard and seen during his visit to West Timor.

He also said he will pave the way for the setting up of relations between the Northern Territory in Australia and West Timor by operating ferry boats plying the Darwin-Kupang route.


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