/** reg.easttimor: 3355.0 **/

** Topic: World horrified by Timor attack as Jakarta resists peace force **
** Written 2:12 AM Sep 12, 1999 by Joyo@aol.com in cdp:reg.easttimor **
Subject: World horrified by Timor attack as Jakarta resists peace force

World horrified by Timor attack as Jakarta resists peace force

JAKARTA, Sept 12 (AFP) - Reports of a brutal attack by Indonesian soldiers on refugees in an East Timorese mission town horrified the world Sunday and intensified pressure on Indonesia to end the carnage.

Indonesian troops and pro-Jakarta militia mounted an assault on 30,000 unarmed and starving East Timorese in Dare, where they had fled after pro-Jakarta militias laid waste to the capital Dili, UN officials said.

US President Bill Clinton Sunday issued his strongest condemnation yet of Indonesia's failure to prevent the violence unleashed last week by pro-Jakarta gangs, accusing its military of complicity in "murder" in East Timor.

"It is clear the Indonesian military has aided and abetted militia violence in violation of a commitment its leaders made to the international community," Clinton said in Auckland, where he was attending a regional forum.

Clinton outlined a US role in a multinational peace force for the territory, saying it would give airlift and possibly intelligence support.

UN Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson meanwhile called in Darwin, northern Australia, for a war crimes tribunal to probe alleged rights violations.

"There must be accountability for this level of savage terrorising of the people. I think that is the main message that I want to get across -- taking stock of the human rights violations and working towards accountability and no impunity," she said.

But Indonesia continued to send mixed signals over whether it was prepared to allow peacekeepers, ahead of an extraordinary cabinet meeting called by Indonesian President B.J. Habibie to discuss the crisis.

The official Antara news agency said Habibie would make an important announcement on East Timor at 7:00 p.m. (1200 GMT) Sunday, after the cabinet meeting.

It is expected Habibie will say whether Indonesia will bow to pressure and reverse its oppposition to international troops on East Timorese soil.

Reports of the spreading violence in the former Portugese colony, conveyed by UN Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) spokesman David Wimhurst, may force its hand.

Wimhurst told reporters he had received reports that troops advanced up a mountain to the mission town, killing as they went.

Clearly angered by the latest developments, he said: "There is still no international peace keeping force in sight yet.

"They (the Indonesians) are still slaughtering people in East Timor and the international community has not acted."

An Indonesian military spokesman denied the reports. "It's a very safe haven for refugees," General Sudrajat said, asked if the Indonesian military could guarantee the security of those sheltering in Dare.

Another UN spokesman in Dili, Brian Kelly, confirmed an assault had occurred on Saturday, but said reports from the Indonesian military and its own sources indicated Dare town was calm Sunday.

"What may be at issue is that there was an incident there yesterday, we believe, in which one person was killed and this may have been communicated to the expatriate East Timorese population in Darwin and picked up from there," he told Cable News Network (CNN).

A journalist with the Times of London, speaking from Dare, told CNN people were terrified after a brutal assault by Indonesian soldiers Saturday that left two dead, including a priest.

"Yesterday Indonesian marines came in force and fired at random and indiscriminately into the coffee grove where many thousands of refuges have been taking refuge from the violence," said the reporter, who did not want to give his name.

"It was done by the Indonesian military, by the marines, there was no militia at all."

The Jesuit Refugee Service said 70-year-old Father Karl Albrecht from Germany, who stayed on after other aid workers were evacuated to distribute food and medicine, had been shot dead late Saturday.

Australia said it was considering airlifting food supplies into the mountains of East Timor after a plea from East Timorese exile Jose Ramos Horta, who said tens of thousands of people were starving.

"I was told that every village in the country has been razed to the ground and people are shot at," the Nobel laureate said in a television interview.

"Women, many women, are already committing suicide. They prefer to commit suicide rather than fall in the hands of the special forces who rape them in front of their husbands and then shoot them."

At the United Nations in New York Saturday, Indonesia firmly rejected the immediate deployment of a UN peacekeeping force in East Timor.

"Such an operation may well exacerbate the situation and be counter-productive," Indonesian ambassador Makarim Wibisono told the Security Council.

But in Auckland on Sunday, senior economic minister Ginanjar Kartasasmita was quoted as saying the option was still open.

"He (Ginanjar) said the Indonesian government is now considering very, very positively about (accepting) the support of the international community,," Thai Foreign Minister Surin Pitsuwan said.

East Timorese voted overwhelmingly for independence in an August 30 UN-organised ballot.

** End of text from cdp:reg.easttimor **