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Kofi Annan's Message To East Timoriese Before Poll

30 August 1999

Press Release
SG/SM/7110

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UN WILL BE IN EAST TIMOR ‘TO WORK WITH YOU TO IMPLEMENT WHATEVER CHOICE YOU MAKE TOMMOROW’

19990830
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Says Secretary-General in Appeal to People of East Timor Issued in Dili Yesterday

Following is the appeal by Secretary-General Kofi Annan that was conveyed to the people of East Timor in Dili on Sunday, 29 August:

Tomorrow's popular consultation of the people of East Timor is a unique opportunity to settle a long-running dispute by peaceful means. I appeal to all sides to live up to their responsibilities before history by respecting the democratic process. It is essential that the people of East Timor be able to vote in conditions free of intimidation and violence. I strongly urge that effective steps be taken to control the illegal activities of armed elements, and I emphasize the obligation of the authorities to maintain law and order.

The United Nations was invited to East Timor to organize tomorrow's ballot as part of the 5 May Agreement. We have fulfilled our mandate in an impartial and professional manner. UNAMET's staff and observers must be allowed to carry out their duties without threat or interference from any party. The safety of those East Timorese entrusted with assisting the popular consultation must be guaranteed by those whose duty it is to provide a secure environment for the ballot.

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 honour its undertakings and instruct its security forces to ensure an environment free of coercion or any other form of intimidation in which the population can decide its destiny without fear and with confidence of a peaceful future. I give all of you my solemn assurance that the United Nations will be present in East Timor in the coming months in order to work with you to implement whatever choice you make tomorrow.

ENDS

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