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TIMOR TODAY 18/10/99

TIMOR TODAY 18/10/99

For full text and pics see… http://www.easttimor.com

PHOTOS

a) Australian army Cpl. Evan Urling, right, shakes hands with a member of East Timor's Falintil pro- independence group in Liquica, Saturday, after Australian forces secured the town, a former stronghold of pro-Jakarta militia. Troops in the International Force for East Timor (INTERFET) were again involved in a gunbattle with pro-Jakarta militias Saturday in the town of Marco, west of Liquica and INTERFET says at least three militias were killed in the attack with no INTERFET casualties. The Falintil are reported to be providing intelligence to INTERFET of militia activities near the borde with West TImor. (AP Photo/Jason Reed, POOL)

b) East Timorese villagers guide Australian soldiers to the house of suspected militia member Lorenzo Diaz during a raid in the western outskirts of Dili Friday. (AP Photo/Romeo Gacad, Pool)

c) Nobel Peace Laureate Bishop Carlos Belo, left, applauds next to Australian Major- General Peter Cosgrove, Commander of the International Force for East Timor Sunday, October 17, 1999, following a mass at Dili's cathedral. Thousands of worshippers flocked to hear Belo give Mass for the first time at the Cathedral since his return from forced exile during attacks by pro-Jakarta militia over one month ago. (AP Photo/Erik de Castro, Pool)

NEWS

1) Safety declared as UN bows to Falintil advice 18/10/99 (The Australian) the UN, given the task of creating provisional government in East Timor, has found itself unable to move without checking first with Falintil and the CNRT. At regional meetings, the UN appears to be delegating much responsibility to local authorities and standing back, promising they will be little more than a facilitator of humanitarian services.

2) Clash does not signal strengthening of militia: Interfet 18/10/99 (AFP) DILI, East Timor - Despite being outnumbered four-to-one, Australian troops suffered no casualties in the clash Saturday near Marko, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) norteast of Balibo, which left three militia dead and three wounded.

3) Falintil claims 50 killed by Indon troops yesterday in Oekussi enclave 18/10/99 (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) There are claims of mass killings in the East Timorese enclave of Oekussi, which lies across the border from the Territory and is surrounded by West Timor. A senior commander of East Timor’s pro-independence Falintil resistance group has called on the multinational force to immediately intervene.

4) Political plot mixes bullets with ballots 18/10/99 (The Australian) THE border clash between Interfet and Indonesian troops a week ago was probably an unintentional incident, but the clash with well-equipped and trained militiamen on Saturday was part of a well-prepared operation.

5) Militia Confrontations on the Rise in East Timor 18/10/99 (Washington Post) DILI, East Timor - When international peacekeepers landed here last month, the militiamen who opposed independence for East Timor mounted little resistance. Many retreated to the hills or over the border into Indonesian-controlled western Timor, allowing the peacekeepers to move quickly through the territory.

6) Indonesia accused of abducting 100,000 East Timorese 18/10/99 (AFP) SYDNEY - Ramos Horta accused Indonesia of abducting 100,000 East Timorese and displacing 300,000 others. The Indonesian army and navy were responsible for the abductions, not the militia, he said. He described the action as the "most extraordinary criminal act since World War II."

7) Politics behind Asean’s inaction on East Timor 18/10/99 (Straits Times) ASEAN never had it this bad. First, the Asian financial crisis brought it economic ruin. Now, ignominy over East Timor. For its quiescence over the rape of the former Portuguese colony, the grouping’s battered international image took a further pounding, and Indonesia’s millstone became Asean’s.

8) Indonesia and UN get down to talks on Timor handover 18/10/99 (AFP) DILI, East Timor - Preliminary talks were held Sunday among the United Nations, Interfet and an Indonesian team ahead of a key meeting to determine how Jakarta will hand over powers to a transitional administration in East Timor.

9) Resistance leaders call for role in interim UN body in E Timor 18/10/99 (AFP) DARWIN, Australia, Oct 17 (AFP) - Pro-independence East Timorese leaders will ask for a role when the formal United Nations peacekeeping force takes over in the territory, but have ruled out forming a provisional government.

10) East Timorese flock to Dili Cathedral 18/10/99 (AFP) DILI, East Timor - About 1,000 people flocked to the cathedral in Dili Sunday where Bishop Carlos Belo held his third mass since returning from a brief forced exile.

11) Witness says up to 200 massacred in E. Timor church compound 18/10/99 (AFP) SUAI, East Timor - Indonesian soldiers and pro-Jakarta militia slaughtered as many as 200 people in a church compound in this town in southwestern East Timor in September, an eyewitness claimed Saturday.

12) IOM & UNbegins the mass return of people displaced by the Timor crisis 18/10/99 (IOM) The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) have agreed to cooperate to facilitate the voluntary, safe and organized return of people displaced by the Timor crisis.

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