Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education

Front Page



UK Politics







Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Low Graphics

Friday, September 10, 1999 Published at 10:44 GMT 11:44 UK


Timor bishop blames generals

Bishop Belo: Fled the violence

The Bishop of Dili, Carlos Belo, has blamed the Indonesian authorities for the violence in East Timor.

Bishop Belo, who fled East Timor for Australia on Tuesday, told the BBC the violence was aimed at overturning the territory's historic vote for independence.

East Timor
About 200,000 people have already fled to neighbouring West Timor, and there are reports of widespread massacres of pro-independence Timorese.

The Roman Catholic Church said it had evidence that priests, nuns and other Catholics had been massacred by the pro-Indonesian militias.

Bishop Belo, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that there was no doubt that the Indonesian military were behind the violence.

'Generals behind violence'

He said: "It is orchestrated by Indonesian top generals in Jakarta in order to stop the historical event of the ballot."

The United Nations has begun pulling out the bulk of its remaining staff from its mission in Dili, where refugees have been sheltering since the referendum on independence.

Bishop Belo said he hoped the international community would not completely pull out of East Timor.

He said: "They can't give up because this is a democratic process. It is necessary that the United Nations understands its position to maintain order and to tell Indonesia to be a civilised country."

The bishop said he supported calls for an international war crimes tribunal to investigate the actions of Indonesian militia.

Bishop Belo is due to fly to Rome to brief Pope John Paul II on the situation in East Timor.

Advanced options | Search tips

Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©

Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia

Relevant Stories

10 Sep 99 | Asia-Pacific
Militia attack UN compound

09 Sep 99 | Americas
US military cuts Indonesian ties

09 Sep 99 | Asia-Pacific
Timor militias 'targeting Catholics'

07 Sep 99 | UK Politics
UK must help Timor - exiles

06 Sep 99 | East Timor
Bishop Belo: Timor's spiritual leader

Internet Links

East Timor Action Network

Government of Indonesia

United Nations

The Vatican

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.

In this section

From Business
Microsoft trial mediator appointed

Violence greets Clinton visit

From Entertainment
Taxman scoops a million

Safety chief deplores crash speculation

Bush calls for 'American internationalism'

Hurricane Lenny abates

EU fraud: a billion dollar bill

Russian forces pound Grozny

Senate passes US budget

Boy held after US school shooting

Cardinal may face loan-shark charges

Sudan power struggle denied

Sharif: I'm innocent

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

India's malnutrition 'crisis'

Next steps for peace

Homeless suffer as quake toll rises

Dam builders charged in bribery scandal

Burundi camps 'too dire' to help

DiCaprio film trial begins

Memorial for bonfire dead

Spy allegations bug South Africa

Senate leader's dismissal 'a good omen'

Tamil rebels consolidate gains

New constitution for Venezuela

Hurricane pounds Caribbean

Millennium sect heads for the hills

South African gays take centre stage

Lockerbie trial judges named