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DATE=8/29/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=EAST TIMOR / SUNDAY / L NUMBER=2-253224 BYLINE=NICK SIMEONE DATELINE=DILI INTERNET=YES CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: In East Timor, groups fighting for and against independence are promising not to disrupt Monday's United Nations / sponsored referendum on the future of the disputed territory. The vote has been twice postponed because of violence, but -- as correspondent Nick Simeone reports from the East Timorese capital, Dili -- rival factions are making a very public show of support for the referendum process. TEXT: The United Nations brought the top leaders on both sides of the independence question together Sunday. This was to show the public each is committed to letting the referendum go ahead peacefully -- even though reports reaching Dili suggest violence and intimidation by anti-independence gangs continue in areas outside the capital. A senior commander of the pro-independence faction and the rival leader of a pro-Jakarta militia embraced before the cameras and scores of journalists, Sunday. They pledged to ensure neither side's supporters will be armed on balloting day and to allow Indonesian police to arrest anyone who is. That pledge was emphasized by Eurico Guterres -- leader of one of the largest militias opposing independence. He spoke to reporters, through a translator. ///INTERPRETER ACTUALITY /// We give our full support to the police to carry out an operation to confiscate all arms that are carried in public. ///END ACTUALITY /// His group had threatened to continue fighting, if Monday's referendum ends in a strong show of support for independence. Voters will be asked to either accept or reject an Indonesian government offer of wide-ranging autonomy for the territory. If they reject it, the outcome would be interpreted as a vote in favor of independence. Sunday's meeting between the rival factions comes after weeks of violence, leading up to the vote. It was one of the mos- public displays of support for the referendum by either side, yet. But, the key question remains whether commitments given by factional leaders here in Dili will be obeyed by fighters outside the capital -- many of whom are still believed to be well armed, raising the possibility people will be frightened away from the ballot box. That has been a key concern of the United Nations. In a message to all sides, U-N Secretary General Kofi Annan again stresses to the Indonesian government it has the responsibility of ensuring security on voting day. He delivered that message through the chief of the United Nations mission here, Ian Martin. ///MARTIN ACTUALITY/// The international community expects all concerned to accept the outcome of the popular consultation and to continue and intensify efforts for reconciliation, so as to build a peaceful future for East Timor. I expect the Indonesian government to honor its undertakings and instruct its security forces to ensure an environment free of coercion or any other form of intimidation. ///END ACTUALITY /// The referendum is being put to voters to end the territory's long-running civil war. (signed) NEB/WTW/NS/DWJ / wd 29-Aug-1999 02:42 AM LOC (29-Aug-1999 0642 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .

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