TITLE=EAST TIMOR - INDONESIA (L-O)
INTRO: The Indonesian government has agreed to a plan
to reinforce the U-N presence in East Timor. The
United Nations is supervising a special autonomy
referendum in the disputed territory to determine
whether it should become an independent nation. As
Patricia Nunan reports from Jakarta, the decision by
the Indonesian government comes amid talks with the U-
N and East Timor's former colonial ruler, Portugal.
TEXT: Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas says the
government has agreed to a proposal from U-N Secretary
General Kofi Annan to more than double the number of
U-N civilian police in East Timor. But Mr. Alatas
emphasized the U-N mandate in East Timor has not
changed -- and the reinforcements do not represent a
Mr. Alatas says the number of U-N police could be
raised from 280 to 410. The number of military
liaison officers will also increase from the 50
presently deployed to about 300. But neither the
number nor the date of deployment for the
reinforcements has been decided.
Top Indonesian officials are meeting with United
Nations representatives and East Timor's former
colonial ruler Portugal this week in Jakarta. They
are discussing the future of East Timor after the
Human-rights officials and observer groups including
the "Carter Center" run by former President Jimmy
Carter have made repeated calls for U-N peacekeepers
to be deployed in East Timor. They say peacekeepers
are necessary to prevent continued violence by pro-
Indonesia militia groups in East Timor.
Human-rights groups say the militias, which are
fighting for East Timor to remain a part of Indonesia,
are trying to intimidate voters.
The East Timorese people will be asked to decide
whether the territory should remain with Indonesia
under a special plan for wide-ranging autonomy. If
they reject that plan, the Indonesian government says
it may grant East Timor independence.
The August 30th autonomy referendum is an attempt to
bring peace to East Timor after 24-years of bloodshed,
which began when Indonesian troops invaded in 1975.
12-Aug-1999 10:47 AM EDT (12-Aug-1999 1447 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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