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East Timorese priest says justice essential to reconciliation efforts


An official of East Timor's reconciliation commission said the only way to reconcile with Indonesia is to bring Indonesian authorities to justice for human rights abuses during their 24-year occupation.

Fr Jovito Rego de Jesus Araujo, vice chairman of the Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor, said an international war-crimes tribunal is the only way to bring human rights abusers to justice.

The commission, established earlier this year, has the task of investigating human rights abuses that took place from 1974 until 1999, including acts of violence committed among East Timorese during the civil war that preceded the Indonesian invasion in 1975.

Speaking prior to the country's formal declaration of independence at the beginning of this week, Fr Araujo said the Indonesian government, "the mastermind of all the atrocities," should be held accountable, as should "external forces that provided the opportunity for human rights violations."

LINKS
Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor
Radio Australia interview with Fr Rego de Jesus Araujo (transcript)


SOURCE
CNS

24 May 2002