Monitor: All the News of the World - International comment on the recent massacres in East Timor

THE INDEPENDENCE movement regards the immediate disarmament and disbanding of civilian militias as an urgent priority, all the more so in the light of the latest events in Maliana. A UN police force should be deployed in East Timor as soon as possible, to monitor and implement a ceasefire and disarmament of both East Timorese armed factions. Unfortunately, in view of the current situation, the establishment of such a force would no longer suffice to guarantee the safety of the population, as these groups are murdering defenceless civilians.

The Nation, Thailand

WHETHER OR not a UN peace-keeping force is the answer to East Timor's worsening situation, there is little doubt that the UN cannot afford to ignore the writing on the wall. Jakarta has showed a refreshing willingness to respect the wishes of the East Timorese people even if they amount to secession, but the writ of the all- powerful Indonesian armed forces evidently still runs large. International opinion must respond to the danger signals before it is too late.

Khaleej Times, UAE

IT IS imperative that the Indonesian military keep completely out of this political process. What is worrying is that, surreptitiously, the military will arm those who want East Timor to continue to be a part of Indonesia, so that they can "convince" the voters with their weapons if they fail to do so by reason. It would be far more advisable and prudent for those like General Wiranto to leave the East Timorese to decide their future without blandishments, threats or arms.

Hong Kong Standard, China

THE SITUATION is clearly deteriorating. At the very least, this suggests the existing Indonesian military command in East Timor is ineffective and must be replaced. Such a move would go a long way to shoring up international confidence in Jakarta's intentions. A willingness by Jakarta to support Bishop Belo's proposal and accept United Nations civilian human rights monitors would go much further.

Sydney Morning Herald

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