Militias 'Out to Subvert Timor Leste Government'
Killing of former pro-independence activists points to a new militia threat from West Timor, says UN official. Anti-independence militias have launched a ‘terrorist strategy’ to undermine Timor Leste’s government before the planned United Nations withdrawal from the country next year, a top UN peacekeeper said. Brigadier-General Justin Kelly, deputy commander of the UN peacekeeping force in the world’s newest nation, said the killing of five former pro-independence campaigners in a mountain region last month pointed to a new militia threat from Indonesian West Timor. He said a group of men recently arrested in the town of Liquica claimed that they and another group which carried out those killings were sent into Timor Leste in December from West Timor, along with five other groups. They named their sponsor as Master Sergeant Tome Diogo, a Timor Leste national working for the Indonesian military in the border town of Atambua. The men said they were among some 300 trained for a guerilla campaign against former pro-independence activists and Suco chiefs, the influential local chieftains. Brig-Gen Kelly called this a ‘classical terrorist strategy of trying to separate the people from the government’, comparing it to the past campaigns of the Vietcong in Vietnam or the communists in Malaya in the 1950s. Full Story