/** ips.english: 419.0 **/

** Topic: RIGHTS: East Timorese Face Genocide, says Ramos Horta **
** Written 9:08 PM Sep 8, 1999 by newsdesk in cdp:ips.english **
Copyright 1999 InterPress Service, all rights reserved.
Worldwide distribution via the APC networks.

*** 08-Sep-99 ***

Title: RIGHTS: East Timorese Face Genocide, says Ramos Horta

By Michael Keats

WASHINGTON, Sep 8 (IPS) - Nobel Peace Prize Winner Jose Ramos Horta said Wednesday the full force of the world community was needed to prevent genocide of the population in East Timor at the hands of the Inonesian army.

''Human beings around the world can still prevent the genocide from taking place by calling on the United Nations, the U.S. Congress, the administration, NATO countries, European Countries, Australia to prevent a new genocide that is going to begin in the next few hours,'' said Ramos Horta, an exiled Timorese resistance leader.

He said news that the United Nations intended evacuating its staff from its beseiged compound in East Timor's capital of Dili was ''appalling.'' More than 1,000 Timorese were in the UN compound with 206 international staffers and 167 local staff members.

If the United Nations left ''genocide will begin...I don't know how people around the world could ever again trust the United Nations,'' Ramos Horta said.

''I don't believe the United Nations will survive this tragedy.''

Ramos Horta shared the 1996 Nobel Prize for Peace with East Timor's spiritual leader Bishop Carlos Belo who was forced to flee Dili on Tuesday after his home, where 4,000 people had taken refuge, was torched by rampaging militia gangs.

Speaking at a news conference at Washington's National Press Club, Ramos Horta said he could not understand why UN members, who apart from Australia, had never recognised the annexation of East Timor by Indonesia in 1975, could stand by and do nothing.

He compared the Timorese situation with that with action taken to prevent ''ethnic cleansing'' in Kosovo, ''a territory which no one disputed formed part of Serbia.''

''Why can nothing be done to stop ethnic cleansing in East Timor?''

Ramos Horta also called on the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to freeze ''all new monies'' to Indonesia.

''I find it extraordinary that those at the World Bank are able to sleep at night knowing that they are still releasing funds, hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayers' money , to fund despotic regimes that perpetrate genocide,'' he said.

Ramos Horta wondered how World Bank President James Wolfensohn ''faces himself in the mirror when he has to sign cheques to the Indonesian army? And how does Michel Camdessus (Managing Director) of the IMF face himself in the mirror; what questions does he ask himself when he knows - when both men know - that...they can help prevent the genocide?''

In a statement late Tuesday, the IMF said it was ''reviewing the situation in Indonesia'' and shortly would make a decision whether to go ahead with a mission to Jakarta, previously scheduled for mid-September.

''The IMF continues to view with grave concern the deteriorating situation in East Timor,'' the statement said. ''Indonesia should have every interest in seeing the process in east Timor unfold smoothly and without further violence in accordance with internationally recognised norms. We will monitor the situation closely, with the intention of conduction the next review in satisfactory conditions.''

Ramos Horta declared the Indonesian army was supporting the militia gangs in East Timor being blamed for most of the violence that has occurred since the territory voted last week in favour of independence.

''As long ago as October last year, the Indonesia army set up camps to train the militias...supplying them with weapons,'' he said.

Ramos Horta called on the United States to support a convening of the UN Security Council ''today'' and support a resolution calling on Indonesia to ''immediately vacate East Timor and withdraw all its troops.''

The resolution would ''then begin preparations for military intervention in East Timor,'' he said. '' Countries like Australia and New Zealand have stated they are ready to intervene..to move within hours, if they have a mandate from the United nations.

''The united States should provide this operation with all necessary support - logistics and equipment as well as ground troops.''

US Defence Secretary William Cohen, however, told reporters at the Pentagon Wednesday the United States had no plans to contribute troops to any peace-keeping force to East Timor.

''The government of Indonesia is responsible for bringing order and peace to East Timor,'' Cohen said. ''The United States is not planning on any insertion of peace-keeping forces.''

Cohen called on the Indonesian government to act ''swiftly and effectively'' to quell the violence caused by the anti- independence groups in East Timor and added the international community was looking at ways to put pressure on Jakarta - including economic isolation.

But ''we have to be selective where we commit our forces and, under the circumstances, this is not an area that we are prepared to commit forces,'' Cohen said.

''The United States cannot be, and should not be, viewed as the policeman of the world.'' (END/IPS/mk/99)


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