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US ambassador warns militia in West Timor to stop violence
November 2 1999 (AFP)
DILI, East Timor, - US ambassador to Indonesia Robert Gelbard on Tuesday warned the pro-Jakarta militia operating in West Timor that they must stop using force or the United States would resort to any means possible to stop them.
"I met with some integration leaders last night. I was crystal clear that force and violence is something that cannot be used," Gelbard told AFP in an interview at Dili's Comoro airport.
"I told them that the international community starting with the United States would use everything we could against them if they resorted to the use of force."
Gelbard arrived in Dili after touring refugee camps in the West Timor towns of Kupang and Atambua and said he was alarmed at the influence of the pro-Jakarta East Timorese miltia there.
"It's very clear that we still see the influence of the militias in some of the camps, certainly in the camps I went to," he said.
Gelbard said the purpose of his visit here was because "the situation in East Timor is obviously something of enormous importance to the United States government as well as to the rest of the international community."
During his visit Tuesday and Wednesday he will meet with Ian Martin, the acting head of the UN Transitional Austhority in East Timor (UNTAET) and Major General Peter Cosgrove, commander of Interfet.
On Wednesday morning a meeting is planned with National Council for East Timorese Resistance (CNRT) leader Xanana Gusmao.
Forwarded by Dion Giles, Fremantle, Western Australia
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