Ukraine Snake Island Flag - Buy it Here!

Military

DATE=4/14/99 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT NUMBER=2-248061 TITLE=EAST TIMOR / GUSMAO CALL BYLINE=JENNY GRANT DATELINE=DILI, EAST TIMOR CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: EAST TIMOR INDEPENDENCE LEADER XANANA GUSMAO HAS DECLINED TO RETRACT THE CALL TO ARMS THAT HE MADE LAST WEEK. BUT AT THE SAME TIME, HE IS URGING CALM IN THE TROUBLED TERRITORY. FROM EAST TIMOR'S CAPITAL, DILI, JENNY GRANT REPORTS THERE ARE FEARS THE TERRITORY'S ECONOMY WILL BECOME ANOTHER CASUALTY OF VIOLENCE. TEXT: IN A STATEMENT READ BY HIS ATTORNEY IN JAKARTA, MR. GUSMAO SAYS EAST TIMOR'S POPULATION HAS BEEN SUBJECTED TO INTIMIDATION AND MURDER BY PRO-INDONESIAN MILITIA GROUPS. HE ADDS HE IS OBLIGED TO CONTINUE TO ASK HIS SUPPORTERS TO DEFEND THEMSELVES. LAST WEEK, MR. GUSMAO, WHO HAS BEEN RELEASED FROM JAIL INTO HOUSE ARREST IN ORDER TO PARTICIPATE IN PEACE TALKS, ISSUED A CALL TO ARMS. THE JAKARTA GOVERNMENT HAS THREATENED TO RE-IMPRISON HIM, IF IT IS NOT RETRACTED. IN WEDNESDAY'S THREE-PAGE STATEMENT, MR. GUSMAO SAYS THE VIOLENCE IN EAST TIMOR IS AIMED AT BLOCKING NEGOTIATIONS ON THE TERRITORY'S FUTURE. WITHOUT A CALM ENVIRONMENT, MR GUSMAO SAYS, THE RECONCILIATION PROCESS IS MEANINGLESS. IN THE STATEMENT, MR. GUSMAO ACCUSES THE INDONESIAN MILITARY OF SUPPORTING THE PRO-JAKARTA MILITIAS. BUT HE EXTENDS AN INVITATION FOR DIALOGUE TO INDONESIA'S POLITICIANS AND MILITARY. INDONESIA'S FOREIGN MINISTER, ALI ALATAS, SET OUT PLANS TUESDAY FOR AN INDEPENDENT RIGHTS COMMISSION TO NEGOTIATE AN END TO THE BLOODSHED. THE COMMISSION IS TO TRY TO MEDIATE BETWEEN SIDES SUPPORTING INDEPENDENCE AND THOSE WHO WANT INTEGRATION OF EAST TIMOR WITH INDONESIA. IN EAST TIMOR, FOREIGN VOLUNTEERS SMUGGLED A TRUCKLOAD OF FOOD (WEDNESDAY) TO SOME OF THE THOUSANDS OF REFUGEES WHO HAVE FLED THE AREAS OF WORST VIOLENCE, BEHIND THE TOWNS OF LIQUICA AND MAUBARA, WEST OF DILI. THE INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE OF THE RED CROSS SAYS MILITIA GROUPS HAVE PREVENTED ACCESS TO THOSE AREAS BY ISSUING DEATH THREATS TO ITS FIELD WORKERS. IT IS FEARED THE VIOLENCE IN THE TERRITORY COULD HAVE DAMAGING ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES FOR ITS BIGGEST AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRY -- COFFEE. SAM FELLIACI OF THE U-S BASED NATIONAL COOPERATIVES BUSINESS ASSOCIATION SAYS THE COFFEE HARVEST, WHICH BEGINS IN TWO WEEKS, WILL BE DISRUPTED THIS YEAR. HE SAYS TRUCKS CARRYING THE HARVEST MAY NOT BE ABLE TO MOVE SAFELY THROUGH AREAS EXPERIENCING UNREST. SOME COFFEE FARMERS TOLD V-O-A THEY HAVE BEEN FORCED TO JOIN LOCAL PRO-INDONESIA MILITIAS IN THE ERMERA AND LIQUICA AREAS. MR. FELLIACI SAYS MANY COFFEE FARMERS HAVE FLED THE VIOLENCE AND ARE WAITING IN THE MOUNTAINS TO RETURN TO PICK THEIR COFFEE. IF THEY ARE UNABLE TO COME BACK IN TIME FOR THE EXPECTED BUMPER HARVEST, IT WILL MEAN LOST INCOME FOR SOME OF EAST TIMOR'S POOREST RESIDENTS. (SIGNED) NEB/JG/FC/RAE 14-Apr-99 7:18 AM EDT (1118 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list