DAILY CATHOLIC    WEDNESDAY     September 15, 1999     vol. 10, no. 175

NEWS & VIEWS
from a CATHOLIC perspective

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UN COMPOUND IN EAST TIMOR SET AFIRE

        DILI, East Timor (CWNews.com) - United Nations officials said on Tuesday that Indonesian militiamen may have set their compound in East Timor on fire after UN staff and refugees had been evacuated to Australia.

        The skeleton UN staff, now staying at the Australian consulate, said they could see black smoke rising from the direction of their headquarters, but the reigning violence in Dili prevented them from verifying that. The report came just hours after 110 UN workers and 1,300 refugees had left Australia.

        The UN also said that more than 200,000 East Timorese at risk for starvation because they don't have access to food or drinking water. They added that up to 100,000 people had been forced out of East Timor to the neighboring country of West Timor.

        In Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, nearly 1,000 protesters marched on government buildings to demand the resignation of President B.J. Habibie and to protest the military's influence in the government. "The military kill people in East Timor. We students must challenge them," said one protest organizer, who identified himself by the single name of Lachman. Indonesia's military is accused of backing the anti-independence militias in East Timor.

        Meanwhile, in New York, Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas negotiated with UN officials on an international peacekeeping force that could be in East Timor by Saturday. But David Ximenes, a spokesman for East Timor's independence movement, told Portugal's TSF radio that killings in Dili are continuing and said: "Three or four more days will be too late. We can't defend ourselves. We're unarmed."


Articles provided through Catholic World News and Church News at Noticias Eclesiales and International Dossiers, Daily Dispatches and Features at ZENIT International News Agency. CWN, NE and ZENIT are not affiliated with the Daily CATHOLIC but provide this service via e-mail to the Daily CATHOLIC Monday through Friday.

September 15, 1999       volume 10, no. 175
NEWS & VIEWS

DAILY CATHOLIC

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