Subject: AFP: More Portuguese observers arrive in East Timor
Date: Fri, 02 Jul 1999 09:00:04 +0000
From: "John M. Miller" <>

Received from Joyo Indonesian News:

More Portuguese observers arrive in East Timor

DILI, East Timor, June 26 (AFP) - A second group of 13 Portuguese observers arrived in East Timor Saturday ahead of UN-monitored polls to determine the future of the territory in August

The 13 observers, lead by diplomat Jose Julio Pereira Gomes, will join six who arrived here on June 17.

"We are observers not participants, we do not take any position on the question on which East Timorese vote," Gomes said shortly after landing here.

"We are neutral."

The presence of a 40-strong Portuguese observer mission assigned to monitor the scheduled August vote on self-determination was part of a package of agreements signed by Indonesia and Portugal at the United Nations in New York in May.

The package covered a UN-sanctioned Indonesian autonomy offer for East Timor and the ballot to determine whether it would be accepted by the local population.

Earlier Saturday, a group of 30 unarmed UN civilian police members arrived in Dili as part of a force of 274 to be deployed across the territory to advise Indonesian police, who are responsible for security in East Timor for the ballot.

A battalion of Indonesian soldiers was also ready to leave the territory on board a navy boat which earlier this week had brought 400 fresh police reinforcements from Jakarta.

The spokesman for the Indonesian task force for the East Timor ballot, Dino Jalal, said the departing soldiers numbered between 400 and 500 and were from "a territorial battalion."

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