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Joint International Observer Missions - Release

Joint International Observer Missions

HEADLINE

KIPER Dili, September 2, 1999

JOINT INTERNATIONAL OBSERVER MISSIONS TO THE EAST TIMOR POPULAR CONSULTATION

PRESS STATEMENT

We the International Observer Missions listed below consider it of the utmost importance to express our evaluation of the consultation process implemented by UNAMET, within the framework of May 5th agreement under the auspices of the Secretary General of the United Nations.

We want to state, in the very place, our recognition and appreciation of the professional work undertaken by international and local staff of UNAMET, with full respect to the free will of the people to vote.

In sharp contrast to electoral process, we are extremely concerned that despite the determination shown by East Timorese people to vote in the popular consultation in such impressive numbers on 30th August, the climate of fear and intimidation continues to distort their will.

Specifically, we want to express our concern regarding the respect and full compliance with Article 3 of May 5th Agreement which states: "The Government of Indonesia will be responsible for maintaining peace and security in East Timor in order to ensure that the popular consultation is carried out in a fair and peaceful way in an atmosphere free of intimidation, violence or interference from any side."

There has been a systematic process of intimidation against the east Timorese population, as well as local and international UNAMET personnel and international observers. Roadbloks, checkpoints, beating, shootings, as well as burning and destruction of property at different times and places, are some of the forms of intimidation that we see every day, especially by so called "militias", whose actions have been tolerated by the police and the army.

The Indonesian Government is solely responsible for eradicating all forms of violence and intimidation, thereby guaranteeing an adequate climate before, during and after the voting on August 30. Therefore, we demand that the Indonesian government fulfil its responsibilities, by immediately disarming and bringing the militias under control without further delay, and we ask that the international community and United Nations take stronger measures to encourage Indonesia to restore safety, peace and security.

International Platform of Jurist for east Timor (IPJET) Independent Committee for Monitoring of Balloting (KIPER) International federation for east Timor Observer Project (IFET) Catholic Institute for International relations (CIIR) Australian East Timor International Volunteers Project (AETIVP) Official Delegation of Chile UN Australian Association Uniting Church in Australia Asia Pacific center for Justice and Peace (APCJP) Oxfam International Asian Network for free Elections (Anfrel)

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