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Great Seal Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Statement on Indonesia: Attack on UNHCR Offices in West Timor
New York, New York, September 6, 2000
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
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SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: On September 6, a mob led by militia elements attacked the offices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Atambua, West Timor, killing fourat least three UNHCR staff members, including one U.S. citizen, and injuring several others. I am deeply disturbed by these deaths and injuries, and I deplore this unprovoked attack on unarmed civilians doing humanitarian work. Such violence must not be tolerated. On behalf of the people and Government of the United States I offer our deepest condolences to the United Nations and to the families of the staff members killed. We honor the sacrifice of those who died for the cause of peace.

Yesterday, when I met in New York with President Abdurrahman Wahid, I emphasized the need to disarm and disband the militias operating in West Timor. Indonesian military forces responsible for maintaining order are failing at this most basic duty. This failure has forced the withdrawal of international workers who were in West Timor to provide assistance, including food and other basic necessities, to those in need.

Today's tragic events underline the urgent need to address this situation. I again call on the Indonesian Government to take immediate action to restore order, ensure the safety and welfare of all refugees and remaining foreign nationals, and bring the perpetrators of this violence to justice without delay.

[End of Document]
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