Andrews Expresses Concern Over Security Situation In East Timor
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, David Andrews, TD, this morning expressed his grave concern about the deterioration of the security situation in East Timor.
"The people of East Timor are now entering a period of great uncertainty and great danger", the Minister said. "Following the referendum last Monday, in which they showed enormous courage and determination, despite widespread intimidation, in coming out to vote, it would be tragic if they were left unprotected against murderous thugs now out of control in many areas. I am appalled by the failure of the Indonesian authorities, despite repeated representations to them, to fulfil their obligation to provide adequate security".
The Minister said that he had heard that in the village of Hatu Kesi in the Liquicia area, where he himself had witnessed the polling on Monday, some thirty houses had been burned by the militia.
"This is savage and outrageous brutality against innocent and defenceless civilians, and cannot be tolerated", he said.
The Minister will be traveling to Finland later today, where he will be reporting to other EU Foreign Ministers on his recent visit to East Timor. He will be urging the EU to use its collected influence and weight with the Indonesian Government and also at the United Nations in New York to ensure that security is provided, normal conditions restored, and the outcome of the consultation process fully honoured.