Subject: Ogata says no quick UN return to West Timor

Ogata says no quick UN return to West Timor

ISLAMABAD, Sept 15 (Reuters) - The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Sadako Ogata, said on Friday she would not return any aid workers to Indonesian West Timor till she was satisfied they would be completely safe.

Ogata spoke in the Pakistani capital hours after Indonesia and the United Nations signed an agreement in Bali to work together to resolve the future of 120,000 East Timor refugees in West Timor.

The agreement made little reference to the pro-Jakarta militias operating in West Timor around the refugee camps or their killing of three U.N. staff in the West Timor border town of Atambua last week.

``The Indonesian government is doing everything to show that they can bring this situation under control,'' Ogata said at a news conference.

``My own position is I am not ready to return my colleagues there -- it is a very painful decision to have to say that, even with the refugees -- unless a very, very clear security management system is put into place.''

Under the agreement signed on Tuesday, participants agreed to offer choices to refugees to stay in Indonesia or return to East Timor, which is under U.N. control after an international force restored order in the wake of last year's rampage by militias acting with Indonesian military support.

Indonesian chief politics minister Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said in Bali that solving problems, including the fate of East Timorese refugees, some of whom are suffering food shortages, was the responsibility of all parties involved in Timor, Antara news agency reported.

No deadline was set for resettling the refugees, an issue that would need more study and meetings in Jakarta, Antara said.

The remaining refugees are part of an estimated 300,000 East Timorese who fled or were forced by militias to leave East Timor after the territory voted on August 30 last year to become independent from Indonesia.

Ogata -- beginning a trip to examine the state of Afghan refugees, the largest number in the world although no longer in the spotlight -- said the Indonesian government had to take extensive action to reassure the UNHCR.

``They have to send soldiers, they have to strengthen the police, arrest the people who caused all these attacks and killings and they have to be brought to trial,'' she said.

``These things will have to happen before I can comfortably say that at least the security situation has been brought under control and we can resume our activities.''

Ogata said it would be difficult for any organisation, even an Indonesian one, to provide humanitarian assistance until the government provided adequate security.

``We hope that some of the Indonesian Red Cross and other workers can carry on at least some of the (food) distribution but I understand the security conditions are not very good for them either,'' she said.

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