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Govt Should Call Indeonesia To Account On Raids

The Government should call Indonesia to account for failure to end the cross border raids into East Timor.

The Indonesia Human Rights Committee is renewing its call for the New Zealand Government to call in the Indonesian Ambassador to the Beehive to underline New Zealand's concern about the ongoing cross border attacks on East Timorese villagers and UN peacekeepers.

"It is time for blunt talking to Indonesia - President Wahid is the Supreme Commander of the Military - he can and must issue orders to end the border terror and mayhem."

"The Indonesian Minister of Defence Mr Sudarsono has made excuses that there are 'rogue elements" of his military that he cannot control. The Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs says he does not have enough money to repatriate the former soldiers who are terrorising the refugees in the border camps."

"These are feeble excuses for an outrageous situation that has forced the United Nations to withdraw its refugee staff and the International Office of Migration to close down. The situation is so desperate that East Timor's leader Xanana Gusmao is even calling for armed intervention across the border."

"Independent observers say that the Indonesian military are the 'hand in the glove' for the murderous militia, and that is the military who continue to provide the funding, training and the arms for the militia groups. Observers have named two training camps close to the West Timor border town of Atambua. There was strong circumstantial evidence to suggest that the Indonesian military may have been involved in the death of the New Zealand peacekeeper. "

"It is time to call for answers about the role of the Indonesian military in supporting the ongoing violence. Calling in the Ambassador would be an appropriate way to signal our urgent fears for the safety of everyone in the border area."

for further information: Maire Leadbeater - 09-376-9098 or 025-436-957

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