DAILY CATHOLIC WEDNESDAY October 27, 1999 vol. 10, no. 205
NEWS & VIEWS
EAST TIMOR TRANSITION GOVERNMENT APPROVED BY UN
NEW YORK (CWNews.com) - The United Nations Security Council on Monday voted unanimously to approve a transition government for East Timor as it moves toward independence from Indonesia.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is expected to appoint his special envoy, Sergio Vieira de Mello to oversee East Timor. De Mello, a Brazilian, previously oversaw Kosovo until a permanent administrator was appointed. The resolution also calls for a peacekeeping force of 9,000 to replace the current force now led by Australia.
"The international community must help the people of East Timor, first to rebuild their shattered lives and then to construct the institutions that they will need to become an independent state," said Deputy US Ambassador Peter Burleigh. "We emphasize the need for the United Nations to work in close consultation with the East Timorese."
Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation in the world,
invaded mainly Catholic East Timor in 1975 and annexed it
the following year in a move not recognized by the United
Nations. In August, the region held a Jakarta-proposed
referendum to allow Timorese to choose either autonomy
within Indonesia or full independence. After the
pro-independence results were revealed, pro-Indonesia
militias, armed and backed by Indonesia's military, went on
a rampage, killing thousands and forcing hundreds of
thousands to flee the former Portuguese colony before
peacekeepers moved in to restore peace.
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NEWS & VIEWS