World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Timor-Leste: Envoys Seek To Calm Tensions

Timor-Leste: As Demonstrators Mass, UN Envoys Seek To Calm Tensions

New York, Jun 29 2006

With thousands of demonstrators milling around in the Timor-Leste capital of Dili, United Nations envoys today stepped up their efforts to calm tensions and plan for a possible expanded UN police force in the small South-East Asian nation that the world body shepherded to independence from Indonesia just four years ago.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special representative in Timor-Leste Sukehiro Hasegawa called on political leaders to ensure that their followers and supporters restrain themselves from any behaviour that might result in violence amid tensions attributed to differences between eastern and western regions.

Some 3,000 demonstrators riding in 150 trucks descended on Dili Thursday in a show of support for former Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, who resigned Monday. They were escorted by troops from the Combined Task Force from Australia, New Zealand, Portugal and Malaysia, invited in by the Government to help quell the violence.

On Monday, thousands of anti-Alkatiri demonstrators circulated throughout the city in a similar number of trucks.

The crisis erupted in late April with the dismissal of 600 soldiers, a third of the armed forces. Ensuing violence cost at least 37 lives and drove over 155,000 people, 15 per cent of the total population, from their homes into makeshift camps or to host families. Mr. Annan’s Special Envoy Ian Martin, who arrived in Dili on Monday, held a series of high-level meetings with government leaders on the next stages of the UN assistance, meeting with government ministers, including Senior Minister Jose Ramos-Horta and Minister of State Ana Pessoa.

In a separate meeting with President Xanana Gusmao, he and UN police advisor Mark Kroeker exchanged concrete ideas on the role of an expanded UN police force.

The world body first set up the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) in 1999 after the country voted for independence from Indonesia, which had taken it over at the end of Portugal’s colonial rule in 1974. Mr. Martin was Mr. Annan's Special Representative in the territory there at that time.

This robust structure was kept until independence in 2002, when UNTAET was replaced with a downsized operation, the UN Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET). This in turn was succeeded by the current, even smaller UN office in Timor-Leste (UNOTIL).

Violence yesterday, in which at least 20 houses were burned in Dili, threatened to hamper UN food distribution to tens of thousands of already hard-pressed people sheltered in displaced persons camps.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>

ALSO:

Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>

ALSO:

Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>

ALSO:

Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC