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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 May, 2005, 07:16 GMT 08:16 UK
UN team in Jakarta over E Timor
By Rachel Harvey
BBC News, Jakarta

East Timor violence in 1999
Violence broke out in East Timor after its vote for independence
A UN team has arrived in Indonesia to assess efforts to bring to justice those behind the violence that marred East Timor's move to independence.

Up to 1,500 people were killed in 1999 by pro-Jakarta militias widely believed to have been supported by members of the Indonesian security forces.

Indonesia and East Timor set up parallel legal systems to bring the perpetrators to justice.

But both have been criticised for failing to deliver justice.

It is not clear how much the UN team will be able to achieve during its brief stay in Indonesia.

The government in Jakarta initially refused permission for the experts to come at all, and only relented after a personal intervention by the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Such reluctance is indicative of the sensitivity which still surrounds the bloody mayhem that marked East Timor's vote for independence five years ago.

The UN-backed Serious Crimes Unit in East Timor, which is due to wrap up on 12 May, has issued a total of 95 indictments.

Some of the most serious charges are levelled against members of the Indonesian security forces.

But none have appeared in court in Dili because the Indonesian government has refused to cooperate.

Instead, Jakarta set up its own ad-hoc human rights tribunal, which tried 18 suspects.

Twelve were acquitted, five had their convictions overturned on appeal and the final case is still pending.

Human rights activists have described the Indonesian process as a sham, and have called for a full international tribunal.

In an effort to forestall any such move, the Indonesian and East Timorese governments have set up a joint Commission on Truth and Friendship.

The UN experts now in Jakarta will in part be trying to find out whether the new bilateral venture will deliver the justice those affected by the violence say they are still waiting for.

Indonesia and E Timor heal wounds
09 Apr 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Justice for Timor war criminals?
18 Feb 05 |  Asia-Pacific
East Timor's unfinished business
05 Nov 04 |  Asia-Pacific
Timeline: East Timor
13 Nov 03 |  Country profiles
Country profile: East Timor
13 Nov 03 |  Country profiles

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