Subject: LUSA: Annan reaffirms aid, Washington said backing 'robust' UN mission

Also AP: Australian intervention helped spare East Timorese continued chaos, official says

East Timor: Annan reaffirms aid, Washington said backing 'robust' UN mission

Washington, June 29 (Lusa) - UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has reaffirmed the United Nations' continued help for East Timor and appealed to the violence-wracked country's political leaders to keep rival demonstrations peaceful.

Annan, a spokesman said in New York Wednesday, "appeals to all political leaders to assure that any demonstrations carried out by their supporters be peaceful and undertaken with respect for East Timor's laws and in cooperation with international (peacekeeping) forces".

The UN "will continue to back the Timorese people during this difficult time", the spokesman said, noting that Annan's special envoy Ian Martin and mission chief Sukehiro Hasegawa were holding consultations in Dili "with all sides" in the conflict.

The UN Security Council is expected to meet in August to discuss the creation of a new UN mission for East Timor that could include military, police and civilian aid components.

In Washington Wednesday, the US assistant secretary of state for Asia and the Pacific, Eric John, said the Bush administration backed the setting up of a new UN mission.

John said a future UN presence in East Timor should involve "robust electoral aid, a strong police component and civilian human rights advisers".





Australian intervention helped spare East Timorese continued chaos, official says

06/28/2006 03:29:00 PM EDT

WASHINGTON_Without the speedy dispatch of Australian troops to East Timor in recent weeks, the troubled country would have suffered far more chaos and bloodshed than it did, a State Department official said Wednesday.

But Eric John, a department East Asia expert, said he does not envision a return to stability any time soon.

"There is a very rocky road ahead," John said, testifying before a House International Relations subcommittee. "The rifts are not going to be patched up very easily."

The East Timorese are going to "need training wheels" on their bicycle for some time to come, he added.

Eni F. H. Faleomavaega, American Samoa's nonvoting delegate to Congress, suggested that Australia was acting as "deputy sheriff" for the United States in Southeast Asia and decided to intervene to protect economic interests in East Timor.

John said the East Timorese benefited greatly from the Australian action. "They were fortunate that Australia was able to send troops in so quickly," he said.

He added that recent events made clear that the United Nations had learned a "terrible lesson" by withdrawing troops from East Timor before the country was ready to stand on its own feet.

Another mistake was that a dozen countries sent police trainers to East Timor, each one teaching different techniques.

What is needed now is "one coherent model" for security training to be effective, he said.

The instability in East Timor was demonstrated anew on Wednesday as fresh violence erupted between supporters and opponents of the recently ousted prime minister.

John said the administration believes that a U.N. successor mission should include a robust electoral assistance program, a strong police component and civilian and human rights advisers.

"Proper police training will be important since only a professional and impartial police force can get the support of the Timorese people," he said.

A U.N. team is in East Timor now to undertake needs assessments. After its findings are reported to U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, the U.N. Security Council will discuss the creation of a successor U.N. mission, taking into account Annan's suggestions.

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