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UNTAET Daily Briefing 28 Feb 2000

Dili, 28 February, 2000
President Wahid's visit

President of Indonesia, Abdurrahman Wahid, will visit East Timor on 29 February. The visit is planned to last three hours.

The presidential plane is expected to land at 12:00 noon. As he disembarks, President Wahid will be greeted by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, SergioVieira de Mello, the President and Vice-President of the Timorese National Resistance Council (CNRT), Xanana Gusmao and Jose Ramos Horta, UNTAET Director of Political Affairs, Ambassador Peter Galbraith, and the Head of the Indonesian Representative Office, Kristio Wahyono.

Other Timorese and international personalities will be on the tarmac to greet the president and his delegation. The presidential motorcade will leave from the tarmac to the Governor's Office.

President Wahid's first meeting at the Governor's Office will be with SRSG Vieira de Mello and CNRT President Xanana Gusmao.

A special session of the National Consultative Council is scheduled to start at 1:10 PM and is expected to last for 30 minutes. Following the NCC special session President Wahid is to meet Bishops Basilio de Nascimento and Carlos Belo.

At 1:55 PM SRSG Vieira de Mello and Indonesian Foreign Minister Alwi Shihab are expected to sign a joint communique'. The signing ceremony will be witnessed by President Wahid, who will then make a brief statement and take a few questions from journalists.

After the press encounter, President Wahid and his delegation will leave the Governor's Office for the Santa Cruz and Indonesian Cemeteries.

President Wahid will lay a wreath at the front gate of each cemetery.

From there, President Wahid will lay the foundation stone at the future Indonesian Representative Office. He will then go to Comoro Airport and fly back to Indonesia.

UNTAET action on dengue fever

UNTAET and several NGOs are teaming up with Timorese partners, in particular the Catholic Church, to spread community awareness about the dengue virus.

A leaflet explaining the dengue virus, how it is transmitted and how it can be prevented has been prepared and will be distributed in Dili in the course of this week.

In the near future, a brochure will be distributed nationwide.

Discussions with Radio UNTAET and Radio Voz Esperanca are also underway to promote public service messages about dengue.

Last Friday, a CivPol from Ghana passed away with dengue fever as a suspected cause of death. The results of the autopsy have not been released yet.

According to UNTAET medical services, Dili is the dengue capital of East Timor. In the last three months there were approximately 230 cases of fever illnesses, 30 suspected cases of dengue, and 60 of malaria among civilians, local staff, CivPol, and UN Military Observers.

Detention Center improvements

The renovation of one of the three rooms vacated by INTERFET can be renovated to increase the capacity at the Civil Detention Center from to 45 to 55 detainees. All cells are now full.

The entire space vacated by INTERFET can be renovated to increase the capacity to 70 to 75 detainees.

On 18th of February, two prisoners escaped from the Detention Center last week, removing the windowpanes and metal bars.

One escape was caught the following day in Liquica (West of Dili). The other remains on the run.

Both are strongly suspected of sexual offenses.

CIVPOL has distributed photos of the escapee still on the run, and is pursuing all inquiries. This was the same procedure that led to the detention of the first of the prisoners.

Over the last three months, the average increase in CivPol strength per week has been 30 officers. There are currently 632 police officers on the ground with some 250 scheduled to arrive by the end of the month of March. Also, the 240 Rapid Response Unit officers will arrive in the course of the month of March as well.

The East Timor Training Academy is scheduled to open on March the 27th. The trainers and curriculum are ready.

20,000 application forms have been distributed with another 10,000 being made available to the district offices to accommodate possible further interest on those Timorese who wish to apply to become future members of the future East Timorese Police Service. The selection and screening will start on March the 6th when the first class of 50 recruits will be chosen and a nationwide waiting list will be created. The increase in the capacity to accommodate several classes of recruits at the same time is needed in order to achieve the projected goal of 3,000 trained recruits within three years.

Water and Sanitation

This week, UNTAET Water and Sanitation Office will start issue public announcements to the people of Dili warming against waste of water, which is causing water shortages in the city.

The citizens are advised to contact the Office for all new connections to the water supply pipelines, to avoid the people making their own connections and causing leakage.

According to the Office data, the current amount of water entering the pipe system is sufficient to serve twice the population currently served. However, there are shortages in supply caused by water wastage and leakage from the poorly connected and maintained pipe system.

The Dili water supply system is currently providing a minimal level of water supply service free of charge. The piped water is not safe for drinking and consumers are being advised to boil water.

The UNTAET office of Water and Sanitation has employed 45 Timorese staff who is soon to receive basic training in the maintenance of pipelines and operation of water treatment.

Internally Displaced Persons

The Representative of the Secretary-General on Internally Displaced Persons, Francis Deng, is in East Timor to report on the situation of Internally Displaced Persons.

Mr. Deng arrived last Saturday. He met with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Sergio Vieira de Mello.

Today, he had several meetings to UNTAET staff, among them, the Human Rights Division. He also met International Organization for Migration (IOM) staff and representatives of the Church in East Timor. Tomorrow he will have meetings with the CNRT and will go to Batugade and Atambua to visit the refugee camps.

Mr. Francis Deng is scheduled to leave on the 2nd of March. The report on the Internally Displaced Persons in East Timor is due to be sent to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in March.

Militia Incident

On February the 21st two militia members were arrested by Timorese people on the West Timor border near Maliana (Southwest of Dili). They were handed over to the local command of the Peace Keeping Force who in turn transfer them to CIVPOL for more questioning. They are now detained in the civilian detention center in Dili.