Subject: East Timor: UN holds reconciliation meeting between militia and villagers

United Nations News Sevice February 2, 2001

East Timor: UN holds reconciliation meeting between militia and villagers

2 February – The United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) today hosted a town hall meeting on reconciliation between villagers and militia leaders in Ainaro, where more than 150 people gathered as part of a series of meetings in different districts.

At today's session, which was hosted by UNTAET Chief of Staff N. Parameswaran, the population of Ainaro was also consulted on the possible return of the militia leader Câncio Lopes de Carvalho and his brother Nemésio. The overall answer was that the district is ready to accept their return as long as both accept the results of the August 1999 popular consultation and face justice.

According to UNTAET, during Mr. Parameswaran's January meeting with militia leaders in Kupang, West Timor, Mr. Lopes de Carvalho expressed his desire to return to East Timor. He later confirmed his wish in a letter to UNTAET, in which he accepted the result of the popular consultation. Mr. Lopes de Carvalho also affirmed his acceptance of East Timor becoming an independent country and said he was willing to face justice and help in the reconstruction of the country.

Meanwhile at the first formal meeting of the Joint Border Committee on 30-31 January, UNTAET raised the question of compensation by the Government of Indonesia for the destruction and damage done in East Timor in 1999, including the private property of ordinary East Timorese. The Committee agreed on the need for a comprehensive solution covering all the claims.

The Joint Border Committee was established last September to deal with cross-border issues and problems.

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