TITLE=U-N - EAST TIMOR (L - ONLY)
INTRO: United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan is
proposing an increase in U-N police presence in
troubled East Timor, amid continuing concerns about
the security situation in the former Portuguese
colony. Mr. Annan says additional police will be
needed to ensure security after a referendum on the
territory's future is held later this month. V-O-A's
U-N correspondent Max Ruston has the story.
TEXT: Mr. Annan is proposing that the U-N police
presence in East Timor be increased from its current
level of about 280 to more than 450. In a report to
the U-N Security Council, Mr. Annan says the
additional personnel are needed during the interim
phase -- after the ballot -- to help advise local
security forces. He says the situation in the
territory will be rather delicate.
U-N Spokesman Fred Eckhard:
/// Eckhard Act ///
In the report, the Secretary-General notes that
irrespective of the results of the 30th of August
popular consultation (autonomy referendum), the
U-N will have to redouble its efforts to build
confidence and support stability in the territory
and reassure all groups, -- in particular those
in the minority in the ballot -- that they have a
role to play in the future political life in East
///End Act ///
On August 30th, residents of East Timor will be asked
to choose between independence and broad autonomy
under Indonesian rule. The territory was a Portuguese
colony until 1975, when it was invaded and later
annexed by Indonesia.
Mr. Annan expresses concern about the period between
the conclusion of the vote and the start of the
implementation of its result. He says stronger
security and confidence-building measures will be
needed during this period no matter what the outcome
of the poll.
Those concerns follow regular outbreaks of violence
over the last few months. Most of the violence has
been blamed on pro-Indonesia militias.
Mr. Annan's report says if East Timor chooses
independence, arrangements will need to be made for
the peaceful and orderly transfer of authority from
Indonesia to the United Nations. Pro-independence
groups say the United Nations would remain in control
for up to three years during a transition to
independence. They express confidence that a majority
of people will support independence.
Indonesia says pro-independence groups are overstating
their support. It says predictions about the outcome
of the U-N-sponsored poll should not be trusted.
10-Aug-1999 16:15 PM EDT (10-Aug-1999 2015 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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