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Death of Nepalese peacekeeper

11 August 2000 Media Statement

Death of Nepalese peacekeeper

Prime Minister Helen Clark today expressed the great sympathy of all New Zealanders to the family and fellow citizens of the Nepalese peacekeeper killed in East Timor yesterday.

Helen Clark said that New Zealanders would feel deeply for the family and for Nepal, especially in the circumstances of having lost one of our own peacekeepers so recently.

"New Zealand is not aware of any evidence that the Indonesian military was involved in the death of the Nepalese peacekeeper. The United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor has said that the peacekeeper was killed in a gunfight with a group of militia.

"The United Nations is investigating the incident in order to establish the facts about it.

"This killing, coming hard on the heels of Private Manning's death last month, is a tragic reminder of the serious threat to East Timor's security posed by the pro-integration militias.

"This only serves to reinforce New Zealand's commitment to support the United Nations effort to stop these threats.

"Indonesia is well aware that the international community expects it to address the root causes of these militia attacks by disarming and disbanding the militias operating out of West Timor, and closing the refugee camps that provide them with cover.

"This further tragic killing reinforces the need for Indonesia to take early and effective action on these issues," Helen Clark said.

ENDS

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