DATE=2/17/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=U-N / EAST TIMOR (L) NUMBER=2-259256 BYLINE=GARY THOMAS DATELINE=JAKARTA CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: U-N Secretary General Kofi Annan is in East Timor to assess the devastation wrought by the spasm of militia violence last year. U-N peacekeepers are to assume full administrative control of the territory next week. As VOA correspondent Gary Thomas reports, the task of rebuilding is enormous. TEXT: Arriving in East Timor Thursday, Secretary General Kofi Annan saw for himself the physical and emotional devastation left by the vented outrage of those who refused to accept last August's vote for independence. Mr. Annan went to the town of Liquica, where some of the worst violence by pro-Jakarta militias took place. He laid a wreath at a church where at least 50 people are believed to have been murdered. He described the scene as "shocking" and said he has only begun to see how extensive the destruction was in the town. Mr. Annan's 24-hour visit is intended to boost the morale of the East Timorese ahead of the official takeover by U-N peacekeepers from a multinational Australian-led force. Across East Timor, virtually no basic facilities and services remain intact and whole towns are little more than burned-out hulks. U-N administrators face a Herculean task of rebuilding. Millions of dollars in reconstruction aid has been promised, but has been slow to arrive. Mr. Annan flew to the East Timorese capital of Dili from Jakarta, where he held talks with Indonesian leaders on reconstruction in East Timor and accountability for those who fanned the brutality there. More than 100-thousand people who fled the violence are still in refugee camps in neighboring West Timor, where they are still subject to intimidation by remnants of the pro-Jakarta militias. Speaking in Jakarta Wednesday, Mr. Annan said the United Nations would work with Indonesian authorities to ensure their safe return. // ANNAN ACT // We are going to be working closely with the government through the (U-N) High Commission for Refugees. And I also had a meeting with the Minister of Defense who are going to work with us to ensure that there are no militia elements and those who are intimidating refugees are brought under control and that we can assist in getting the refugees back. // END ACT // A U-N report has recommended setting up a special tribunal to try cases of atrocities in East Timor. Mr. Annan praised Indonesia's initial efforts to bring human rights violators to justice, and said credible prosecutions in Indonesian courts will eliminate any need for a special tribunal. (signed) NEB/GPT/FC 17-Feb-2000 06:16 AM EDT (17-Feb-2000 1116 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .
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