TITLE=U-N - EAST TIMOR (L-ONLY)
INTRO: The United Nations says it is preparing to take
up civilian duties in East Timor, including the
delivery of water and electricity for the territory
which was devastated by a wave of violence. As
Patricia Nunan reports from Jakarta, much of East
Timor's infrastructure was destroyed when anti-
independence militias swept through the territory,
killing thousands and setting fire to buildings and
Text: Senior United Nations officials say they want
to put civil society back on track in East Timor. They
want to start by providing basic services such as
water, electricity, sanitation, and telecommunications
for the territory.
The struggle to improve East Timor's infrastructure
comes as part of an international effort to restore
order to the territory, wracked by two weeks of
bloodshed earlier this month. Armed militia groups
caused riots throughout the territory, killing
thousands and forcing hundreds of thousands to flee.
Much of the East Timorese capital Dili has been burned
to the ground. Aid workers say the same holds true for
most towns outside the capital.
Most U-N personnel were forced to evacuate East Timor
because of the violence, which was sparked by the
announcement that most East Timorese
voted to separate from Indonesia in a U-N-supervised
referendum held in August.
The militia groups are opposed to independence for
An international peacekeeping mission was launched in
East Timor 10 days ago in response to the militia
violence. Roughly eight thousand troops from more than
20 different countries will eventually be deployed to
East Timor to help restore order after the militia
violence -- and to allow the United Nations to return.
International relief organizations are focusing on
providing basic necessities to East Timorese refugees,
many of whom are returning to the capital Dili after
weeks spent hiding in the hills. Aid workers say one-
quarter of the 60 thousand people who fled the capital
for the nearby town of Dare have begun to return, in
desperate need of assistance.
Another 230 thousand people are believed to have fled
into West Timor -- or were forced to leave by the
Meanwhile the head of the Indonesian Armed Forces
cautiously welcomed an official inquiry to be launched
by the United Nations, into alleged war crimes
committed by Indonesian troops in East Timor.
But General Wiranto warned that the United Nations
should not assume that all human rights abuses in East
Timor were committed by the military.
U-N personnel in East Timor alleged that Indonesian
troops participated in the militia violence, prompting
the U-N High Commissioner for Refugees to call for an
official inquiry. The resolution mandating the inquiry
was adopted Monday.
29-Sep-1999 06:42 AM EDT (29-Sep-1999 1042 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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