Subject: AN: PKF denies arrests in neutral area

May 19, 2003 NewsEdge Corporation


Antara via NewsEdge Corporation : Atambua, E Nusa Tenggara, May 14 (ANTARA) - The United Nations Peacekeeping Force in East Timor (UN-PKP) denied an allegation that they had arrested two former pro-integrationist fighters in a neutral area near the East Nusa Tenggara-East Timor border.

Commander of UN-PKF's west sector, Col. Bowen, made the denial during a tactical coordination working group meeting with the Indonesian military and police at the Belu police resort here on Wednesday.

The two, identified as Beni Ludji (40) and Aje Pareira (26), were arrested on April 4, 2003. They currently stand trial in East Timor on charges of involvement in serious crimes in the territory in 1999.

During the meeting, Col. Bowen was accompanied by commander of the UN-PKF's Australian Battalion, Lt. Col Michael Lean and his would-be successor Lt. Col. Smith, and the commander of the Korean Battalion, Lt. Col. Kim Sajin.

Meanwhile, commander of East Nusa Tenggara-East Timor border security operation task force, Col. Djoko Subandrio, who led the Indonesian delegation to the meeting, was flanked by chief of Belu police resort, Adj. Chief Comms. Agus Nugroho, and commander of Belu district military command, Lt. Col. Ganip Warsito.

Speaking to the press following the meeting, Col. Subandrio confirmed that the UN-KPF had made the denial.

"The UN-PKF even claimed that Beni Ludji and Adje Pariera were arrested in East Timor territory, or several meters from the neutral area near the East Nusa Tenggara-East Timor border. So they considered that the arrest accorded with the existing procedures and had to do with their tasks and responsibilities," he said.

He said the two former pro-integrationist fighters were accused of killing a son of Maskarenas village head in Dili, capital of East Timor, when Beni Ludji was the commander of Aitarak militia's operation section.

East Timor seceded from Indonesia in 1999 following an UN-administered ballot in which the majority of East Timorese opted for independence from Jakarta.


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