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Financial aid for Indonesia linked to safety of UN

Jim Anderton MP Mon Sep 6 1999

Jim Anderton
MP Indonesia should be warned that its international financial aid could be withdrawn if UN staff sheltering in compounds in East Timor are harmed by militia there, Alliance leader Jim Anderton says.

Among the UN staff sheltering in Dili is the Alliance's constitutional expert and Victoria University law lecturer Dr Andrew Ladley. He is in Dili as a United Nations negotiator.

Jim Anderton says Dr Ladley is warning that the situation facing UN staff in the compounds is desperate.

'They are basically surrounded. The situation is very dangerous and the international community has to get tough now with Indonesia to protect them,' Jim Anderton said.

'There is very clear evidence that the militia is working with the complicity of the Indonesian army and police.

'Our Government should be working with other countries to send Indonesia a strong message that its financial aid is at stake. After the Asian financial meltdown, Indonesia is basically an economic basket-case, dependent on the assistance of other countries.

'It needs to be warned that continued Indonesian financial aid depends on its government dealing with the crisis in East Timor and protecting the United Nations staff surrounded in their compounds by the militia,' Jim Anderton said.

ENDS

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