DATE=4/27/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=U-N-EAST TIMOR (L ONLY) NUMBER=2-261782 BYLINE=BRECK ARDERY DATELINE=UNITED NATIONS CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: A senior U-N official presented a generally positive report today (Thursday) about the situation in East Timor. VOA Correspondent Breck Ardery reports from the United Nations. TEXT: U-N Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Hedi Annabi told the Security Council increased cooperation between the United Nations and the Indonesian government is starting to solve problems in West Timor. West Timor, part of Indonesia, is where militia groups opposed to East Timorese independence are located and where more than 100- thousand refugees from East Timor remain. Mr. Annabi says Indonesia's military has been helpful in preventing incursions into East Timor by the militias and that Indonesia continues to provide humanitarian aid to the refugees. ///Annabi act/// The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees reports that access to the camps has improved considerably, and the government of Indonesia has to date been flexible in its continuation of aid to the refugee camps in West Timor. ///end act/// Mr. Annabi describes as a "positive development" a recent agreement between the United Nations and the Indonesian government to work together to investigate human rights abuses in East Timor last year. The U-N official points out that the economic conditions in East Timor remain a primary concern with the infrastructure destroyed and few employment opportunities available. He says the U-N administration is organizing a civil service and trying to attract other jobs to East Timor but concedes many East Timorese are disappointed at the slow pace of economic recovery. ///Rest opt/// Mr. Annabi says he is also concerned about statements by a leading East Timorese group (The National Council of Timorese Resistance) that it wants to establish an armed forces service for East Timor. The U-N official says the issue of an armed service in East Timor is complex and sensitive and its implications must be carefully studied. Mr. Annabi gave the Security Council no target date for the establishment of East Timor as a sovereign nation. The consensus on the Council seems to be that the U-N administration in East Timor must continue until the political and economic conditions improve enough to make sovereignty sustainable.(Signed) NEB/UN/BA/LSF/PT 27-Apr-2000 15:17 PM EDT (27-Apr-2000 1917 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .
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