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Saturday, September 11, 1999 Published at 04:54 GMT 05:54 UK


World: Asia-Pacific

UN team heads for Timor

Departing UN personnel look back at the ruins of Dili

A UN Security Council delegation is on its way to East Timor to see at first hand the results of the campaign of terror waged by pro-Indonesia militiamen.

East Timor
The UN mission in the capital, Dili, has come under repeated attack by militiamen and the UN is evaluating the safety of around 80 staff remaining in the compound.

The delegation will make recommendations to UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, on whether to keep the compound open.

Reports say Dili has been devastated by violence involving pro-Indonesian militia in the wake of last month's vote for independence.


UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's speech in full
Some 200,000 East Timorese are reported to have fled their homes in the last week.

Mr Annan, says East Timor is descending into anarchy and Indonesia must now accept an international peacekeeping force.

He told correspondents in New York that if Jakarta refused international help, it could not escape responsibility for what could amount to crimes against humanity.

However, the secretary-general repeated that it would be far too dangerous to send in a peacekeeping force without the consent of Indonesia, something the government shows no sign of agreeing to.


Click here to see a map of the area

The Security Council is due to meet on Saturday in New York to discuss the situation.

IMF suspends talks

In another sign that pressure is mounting on Jakarta, the International Monetary Fund has suspended discussions with Indonesia on its economic programme.

This will prevent the scheduled release of nearly $500m to Jakarta and casts doubt on the disbursement of another $2bn promised in the wake of the Asian financial crisis.

A BBC correspondent in Washington says the IMF has effectively joined the international vote of no-confidence in Indonesia.

US hardens criticism

President Clinton has significantly stepped up his condemnation of the violence in East Timor, which he described as simply unacceptable.

The president warned Indonesia that it faced very dire consequences if it failed to get the situation under control quickly.

He was speaking aboard Air Force One en route to a summit of Asia Pacific leaders in Auckland, New Zealand.

President Clinton, speaking en route to a summit of Asia Pacific leaders in Auckland, New Zealand, said it was now clear the Indonesian military was aiding and abetting the militia violence in East Timor.

He said the actions of the Indonesian military stood in stark contrast to the commitments the government had given the international community.

Correspondents say that Now that the president's focus in meetings with key Asian leaders will be on maintaining a united front to persuade Jakarta that there is no alternative to allowing peacekeepers into East Timor.

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