TITLE=EAST TIMOR / RUINED TOWNS (L)
INTRO: United Nations aid teams surveyed towns across
East Timor on Sunday and found many of them to be
deserted and in ruins. As Amy Bickers reports from
Jakarta, the devastation is worse than they expected.
TEXT: Under heavy guard from international
peacekeepers, United Nations aid teams fanned out
across East Timor Sunday, and found many towns empty
and destroyed. The aid workers say some towns were
nearly burned to the ground. Even the smallest
villages had been burnt and looted.
One U-N official says the findings are often extremely
depressing and show that a tremendous amount of
reconstruction is necessary. A U-N aerial survey of
the region shows an empty, devastated landscape where
many towns were decimated by pro-Indonesia supporters
after the East Timorese voted overwhelmingly for
independence from Indonesia in an August referendum.
The worst destruction is in the western part of the
territory, where many of the anti-independence
militiamen are stationed. In some towns, every home
lies in ruins.
One exception is Baucau, East Timor's second largest
city, which officials say is in better than expected
shape. They found little destruction, with one U-N
official saying the town's plight was not as grave
(serious) as had been anticipated and food supplies
However, some municipal buildings were demolished.
Aid workers suspect retreating Indonesian troops are
responsible. As elsewhere in the territory, water and
power supplies have been cut. (SIGNED)
26-Sep-1999 12:43 PM EDT (26-Sep-1999 1643 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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