European Parliament resolution on East Timor 14-6-2006

European Parliament resolution on East Timor
The European Parliament,

– having regard to its previous resolutions on East Timor,

– having regard to the statement on East Timor made by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union on 31 May 2001,

– having regard to the briefing given by the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative to the Security Council (5432nd meeting),

– having regard to Rule115 of its Rules of Procedure

A. whereas the country has been torn by violence since the dismissal in April of nearly 600 soldiers, a third of the total armed forces; and whereas on 28-29 April an armed confrontation between the armed forces and the dismissed troops and supporting civilians caused a disputed number of fatalities,

B. whereas, following the unrest, riots and violence from gangs, many people have been killed, many more wounded, and tens of thousands of panicked residents have fled the capital and remain in the surrounding hills or have been displaced under the protection of the Church, the UN or embassies,

C. whereas, according to UN information, soldiers opened fire on unarmed police officers on 25 May 2006, killing nine and wounding 27 others,

D. whereas the political instability in East Timor is continuing, despite the resignation of the Interior Minister and the Defence Minister and other efforts made and measures adopted by the East Timorese authorities,

E. whereas protesters have been demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri,

F. whereas the deterioration in the dramatic security and political crisis has led the East Timorese authorities to request foreign troops to help control wanton violence and restore law and order,

G. encouraging the efforts undertaken by President Xanana Gusmão and Senior Minister Ramos Horta on behalf of the government, seeking the return of political and social stability, including talks with representatives of dismissed soldiers and police officers and agents who left their organisational structures in the presence of UN observers,

H. whereas the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has reported more than 100 000 displaced persons who were uprooted in recent weeks as a result of the turmoil sparked by the dismissal of a third of the armed forces and the fragmentation of the police force, and furthered by gang violence,

I. whereas the mandate of the UN mission in East Timor (currently UNOTIL), once numbered some 11,000 troops and civilian staff, but scaled back to 130 staff members, police and military advisers, is due to expire on 20 June, having been extended by the UN Security Council last May just for one month, despite the UN Secretary-General proposal that it should have been prolonged for one year;

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