Subject: Timor Teens Terrorise Camps of Displaced
The Age (Melbourne) Monday, July 24, 2006
Timor Teens Terrorise Camps of Displaced
Lindsay Murdoch, Darwin
TEENAGE gangs are terrorising camps in East Timor's capital, Dili, where an estimated 73,000 people have been living for almost two months.
In one of the worst incidents, a mob of teenagers as young as 12 attacked a worker contracted by UNICEF in a camp in the Surik Mas district of the city.
The man had gone to the camp on Friday to monitor water supplies and sanitation when he was attacked by the teenagers wielding machetes.
He suffered severe cuts and bruises and a gashed elbow.
UNICEF issued a statement at the weekend condemning the "manipulation of children to commit these violent acts".
"UNICEF has been watching with great concern the abuse of children in political protests, in destruction of properties and in wielding weapons to inflict harm on others," the agency said.
Officials in 33 camps across Dili report a sharp rise in disturbances by teenagers, including violent attacks. Often the culprits have been drinking a potent locally made wine.
East Timor's new Prime Minister, Jose Ramos Horta, has made it a top priority to persuade the camp residents that it is now safe enough for them to return to their homes.
Mr Ramos Horta will this week make his first trip overseas as Prime Minister for talks with key regional partners.
He will go to Jakarta tomorrow for talks with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, before going to Kuala Lumpur for the ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations) Regional Forum.
Mr Ramos Horta said Dr Yudhoyono was the first leader to call him after he was sworn in.
He also plans to meet Indonesian business people to explore their possible involvement in economic development in resources-rich East Timor. -- With AFP
--------------------- Joyo Indonesia News Service