/** reg.easttimor: 2675.0 **/

** Written 2:24 PM Sep 5, 1999 by Joyo@aol.com in cdp:reg.easttimor **

The Age Monday, September 6, 1999

UN finds high-level army terror role


Leaked documents prepared by the United Nations mission in East Timor detail a high-level conspiracy between Indonesian police and military officers to use anti-independence militia in an orchestrated terror campaign.

The UN said there had been ``a deliberate strategy to force UNAMET to withdraw from certain regions back to Dili''.

The documents, obtained by The Age, found that in some cases during the past few days there had been ``joint operations'', including the burning of houses and attacks on civilians and UN personnel, including UN civilian police.

``Civpol strongly believe ... that the militias acted with precise instructions as to their targets and the types of actions to conduct,'' one of the leaked reports says.

In the western towns of Aileu, Ainaro, Maliana, Liquica and Same there were accounts of specific abuses, including a threat to burn down a UN compound by a militia leader who said he was acting on instructions from the local major.

In the town of Liquica, Indonesian police and military personnel were not only assisting the militias in an attack, but also themselves shooting at UN vehicles and passengers.

An American member of Civpol was seriously wounded.

The UN has suggested in the internal documents that Indonesian military officers may have been linked to the killing of two local UN staff in Maliana. Five other UN staff in the area are missing, feared dead.

In Maliana, gunshots and screams could be heard from the UNAMET house under attack, but local police did not intervene.

The former district military commander, Colonel Sighian, had been seen in Maliana, despite having been transferred out of town some weeks ago after international complaints about his activities.

``The reappearance coincided with reports, which could not be confirmed, of recent distribution of weapons to the militias,'' the documents say.

On 31August about 7.15pm, Civpol heard a gun battle starting in Maliana, with hundreds of shots fired from M-16 and M-14 assault rifles. This followed information a few days earlier that an Indonesian soldier was seen distributing automatic weapons to militiamen.

That night there was heavy shooting around the UN Civpol compound. ``It is thought that this shooting was aimed at preventing the staff from leaving their locations and observing the militia activities in the town.''

In some cases over the past three days police and military figures gave priority to evacuating their own families, the report said.

In Aileu, Ainaro and Same there was evidence that militias ``with the acquiescence or complicity of the (army and police) were carrying out a campaign of terror, targeting pro-independence areas and burning houses''.

The leaked documents stated: ``In several instances, Polri (Indonesian police) and TNI (the Indonesian military) were identified to be carrying out joint armed actions with the militia. This was notably the case in Liquica where the UNAMET convoy was sprayed with manufactured gunfire by a joint operation of militia, Polri and TNI.

``After studying the reports of the above incidents UNAMET concludes that the operations' modalities demonstrate an intention to create an impression of a conflict between East Timorese, with the Indonesian authorities hopelessly caught between two warring factions,'' the UN documents state.

``All the evidence available to UNAMET suggests that what in fact happened was the implementation of an unprovoked attack strategy put into action by the authorities.''

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