UN wants troops in East Timor

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THE UNITED Nations are proposing to deploy a small number of foreign soldiers in East Timor immediately to help curb violence and protect UN personnel. The plan will be put to Jakarta tomorrow. The UN was drawing up proposals in New York yesterday in consultation with Australia and New Zealand, the two countries best able to contribute troops.

The deployment of a full international force to East Timor is not scheduled until November, and only after last week's referendum result is endorsed by the full Indonesian parliament. However, the UN hopes Jakarta will accept a limited number of soldiers straight away. Although they could work alongside the Indonesia army in restoring order, it is more likely that they would be used only to ensure proper protection of UN personnel and of the UN compound in Dili, the Timorese capital. "We will get the best we can out of the Indonesians," a source said.

East Timor in turmoil,

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Rupert Cornwall, Review, page 4