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NZ First Supports Peacekeepers, Deplores War Crime

NZ FIRST SUPPORTS EAST TIMOR PEACEKEEPING - ACCUSES INDONESIA OF “WAR CRIMES”

New Zealand First has accused the Indonesian leadership of war crimes -but will support the deployment of New Zealand troops as United Nations peacekeepers in East Timor.

The Leader, Rt Hon Winston Peters, said today that at the time of the Bosnia conflict New Zealand First warned that there were emerging on our own doorstep, similar developments which would, because of their proximity, involve us.

“Bougainville and East Timor are but two of them. We could hardly be involved in the Balkans and not here and so New Zealand First supports New Zealand’s involvement in a United Nations peacekeeping operation.

“That said, the actions of the Indonesian Government are inexcusable.

“The leadership has at all times claimed to be in control in East Timor and therefore cannot lightly be excused of complicity in what was demonstrably a pre-arranged plan of ethnic genocide should the referendum go against Indonesia’s interests.

“The West has failed the people of East Timor. The West had the on-the-ground intelligence which surely would have given an early warning of what was going to happen.

“The West also had the economic muscle to use against Indonesia’s impoverished economy to leave the leadership in no doubt as to what the West’s reaction would be if their brutal plan should be put into effect.

“This was ignored by Western government’s who encouraged the people of East Timor to believe that they could control their own destiny – yet did nothing to ensure that Indonesia would respect the outcome of the referendum.

“Indonesia’s leadership is guilty of the gravest of war crimes by their own admission, having claimed that at all times, they were in control in East Timor.

“New Zealand, along with any other countries which go into East Timor, must have concrete assurances from Indonesia that it will abide by the referendum and maintain democracy against outside Indonesian promoted subversion.

ENDS

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