Biskopen av Atambua i Vest-Timor ber om at FN-mandatet utvides til hele Timor (engelsk)

JAKARTA ( - Bishop Anton Pain Ratu of Atambua, West Timor, pleaded for the United Nation mandate over East Timor to be extended to the entire island in order to prevent further massive slaughter of innocent civilians.

The bishop said, "It has become essential for the international community to foresee the humanitarian problem of the whole island of Timor, not just East Timor alone." He added, "While East Timor receives peacekeepers, the Indonesian government should allow the United Nations High Council of Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to come to West Timor to guarantee the humanitarian needs, security, and the free right of refugees to return to their place of origin if they so wish."

Bishop Pain Ratu said that after the arrival of the UN peacekeeping forces, the militia and Indonesian army units would shift from East to West Timor, with growing retaliation against East Timorese refugees. The Timorese are facing an uncertain future of possibly forcible displacement of the population which could undermine the region's recent vote to seek independence from Indonesia.

Indonesia's Immigration Minister, Lieutenant-General A. M. Hendropriyono, recently said he plans to resettle the refugees within Indonesia -- two-thirds of them in West Timor and the rest on other eastern islands. The bishop said he feared the refugees would not be allowed to go back to their homes. He also warned that youths previously recruited into the militias who later could be targeted by the militias for revenge.

According to sources in East Timor, the reduced flow of refugees out of the territory has been replaced by an increased flow of goods, the possessions and produce of hunted people becoming the booty of their hunters. The pillage of East Timor has been followed by a scorched earth campaign as the emptied villages are burned down. Churches and religious houses, which were vacated, have also been looted and damaged or burned.

CWN - Catholic World News

av Webmaster publisert 18.09.1999, sist endret 18.09.1999 - 10:19