Subject: RT: Break-in bid stalls UN officials' return in E.Timor
Date: Fri, 02 Jul 1999 09:20:11 +0000
From: "John M. Miller" <>

Break-in bid stalls UN officials' return in E.Timor 05:43 a.m. Jul 02, 1999 Eastern

DILI, East Timor, July 2 (Reuters) - Two people tried to break into a United Nations residence in East Timor on Friday morning, forcing a delay in the return of evacuated U.N. officials to the field, a spokesman said.

``Two people tried to break into the house, and a police guard fired a warning shot,'' acting U.N. spokesman Hiro Ueki said on Friday afternoon.

He said the incident occurred early on Friday morning in Viqueque, some 90 km (50 miles) southeast of Dili. It had not been possible to identify the would-be intruders.

United Nations officials were evacuated from Viqueque on Wednesday after a group of some 15 armed opponents of independence for East Timor surrounded their house and chanted threatening slogans.

Ueki said that the officials had been scheduled to return to Viqueque on Friday, but that they would not now leave until Sunday at the earliest.

But he said that five electoral officials had returned on Friday to Maliana, where on Tuesday a mob of some 100 stone-throwing pro-Jakarta militia attacked a U.N. office.

``Five electoral staff returned to Maliana today, and another three will go tomorrow,'' Ueki said.

The United Nations is in East Timor to organise a ballot on independence scheduled for the third weekend in August.

Opponents of independence for East Timor have accused the United Nations of bias in its handling of the ballot preparations, saying it favoured independence and had been unreasonably critical of pro-Jakarta groups.

The United Nations says that it is completely impartial and is merely pointing out breaches of the agreement which paved the way for the vote.

Shortly after Jakarta in January abruptly reversed decades of adamant opposition to considering independence for East Timor, armed pro-Jakarta militas started a campaign of terror and intimidation to force the East Timorese to vote to remain part of Indonesia.

Dozens of people have died in the campaign, and tens of thousands have been driven out of their homes.

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