Subject: RT: UN says will investigate Timor shooting

Monday August 13, 3:40 PM

U.N. says will investigate Timor shooting

JAKARTA (Reuters) - The United Nations is trying to appease an irritated Indonesia by offering to set up a joint probe into the killing of one of its soldiers by international peacekeepers on the East Timor border.

Last week, a U.N. investigation cleared New Zealand soldiers of any wrongdoing in the shooting, annoying Indonesia which felt it should have been involved in the probe.

"UNTAET (United Nations Transitional Authority in East Timor) has proposed to the Indonesian Foreign Ministry that an ad hoc committee be formed to fully review the shooting of an Indonesian soldier by New Zealand Peacekeepers on July 28," the U.N. said in a statement on Monday.

It said the committee would work "to reach conclusions about the incident acceptable to both sides as well as agree on preventative measures for the future."

Its initial investigation concluded that the Indonesian army sergeant had been out of uniform but carrying a service rifle close to the border, contrary to orders from his superiors and that the peacekeepers had been within reasonable grounds when they shot him.

More than 8,000 U.N. peacekeepers are deployed in East Timor, responsible for the country's defence and security until independence is granted most likely by early next year.

There are occasional skirmishes on the border with Indonesian West Timor where thousands of militias fled after the majority of East Timorese voted in 1999 to end years of Jakarta military rule.

The impoverished territory will mark the second anniversary of that vote by going to the polls again, this time to choose members of a new assembly which will draft a constitution and pave the way for independence.

East Timor has been administered by the United Nations since Indonesian troops pulled out of the territory destroying most of its buildings as they left.

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