Sunday, August 29, 1999 Published at 08:22 GMT 09:22 UK
East Timor rivals reach agreement
Carrying arms in public is to be banned
The United Nations mission in East Timor has received a pledge from the leaders of rival militias not to disrupt Monday's referendum on the territory's future.
The militia leaders and the pro-independence guerrillas told the UN they would keep their fighters off the streets.
At least seven people have been killed in the violence of recent days.
The rival groups said they had agreed to ban weapons outside designated areas, and to ask the Indonesian police to arrest anyone carrying arms in public.
"This is an historic step in which Falintil and PPI are able to come together in agreement," said Eurico Guterres, commander of one of the pro-Indonesian militias.
Falintil leader, Falur Rate Laek, said the agreement paved the way for a peaceful vote on Monday.
"We wanted this agreement so that the people in the mountains can come down and vote tomorrow," he said.
As the violence continued unchecked, world leaders expressed their fears.
There has been some concern that a failed vote would lead to mass migration of refugees into Australia.
Pope John Paul II, in a message to the province's Catholics, called on the opposing factions to "heal past wounds with respect and love for one another."
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan described Monday's ballot as "a unique opportunity to settle a long-running dispute by peaceful means."
The UN has expressed its concern at the level of violence and has accused sections of the Indonesian military of backing the militias' terror campaign.
On Saturday pro-Jakarta militias roamed unchecked through Dili, sending hundreds of people fleeing in terror.
Overnight militia attacks, which included the torching of part of a village, left a number of people dead. One pro-independence leader was killed and then beheaded.
The ballot is widely predicted to go in favour of independence which would end more than 23 years of Indonesian occupation in the former Portuguese colony.