APSN Banner

Indonesian troops detained dozens of youth in the last days, says resistance leader

Lusa - October 17, 1997

Sydney – The Indonesian army has arrested in the last days dozens of youths, in several raids to villages aimed at discredit the armed rebel movement, a resistance leader told Lusa on Thursday.

The representative of the East Timorese resistance movement FRETILIN in Sydney, Estanilau da Silva, quoting sources in the territory, said that 24 youths had been arrested in the area of Viqueque where most of the military operations occurred in the last days.

"The population is currently living in a real and permanent terror atmosphere, with many military operations, most of them headed by the son-in-law of Suharto (Indonesia's president), Colonel Prabowo", said Da Silva.

The statements came just after reports by the Indonesian news agency Antara claiming that armed members of the East Timorese resistance had caused trouble in several inland villages, where they went to seek food.

Antara said these rebels have been forced to leave the forests due to the lack of food after a drought hit several regions in East Timor.

Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975 and annexed it one year later but the United Nations still regards Portugal as the territory's administering power.