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Australian Democrats demand UN defy Jakarta now
9 September 1999
Invoke Article 42 and send in the UN Force now.
The Australian Democrats' spokesperson for Foreign Affairs and Defence, Senator Vicki Bourne, today called on the United Nations Security Council to send in a peace-keeping force to East Timor immediately.
"The Democrats believe that we can no longer wait for agreement from Jakarta. The UN must act on Article 42 which allows the deployment of a peace-keeping force where there is a threat to international peace and security," Senator Bourne said.
"The argument that we must wait for Jakarta's permission before injecting a peace-keeping force is untenable. Indonesian sovereignty over East Timor has been far from universally accepted and, in any case, the overwhelming vote for independence significantly weakens whatever claim Jakarta had over the territory," she said.
"Clearly, in the light of the horrific violence of the last few days the situation in East Timor is no longer an internal matter. Indonesia has abdicated whatever dubious rights it had to administer East Timor. This is an now an international matter of the gravest order."
"The Security Council can - and should - immediately invoke Article 42 and act decisively to stop further murders in East Timor," Senator Bourne said.
"The imposition of martial law was ludicrous in the first place. It was never going to work as the Indonesian military are part of the problem. It is ridiculous to ever think they could be part of the solution.
"This the second time Indonesia has invaded East Timor. Australia cannot stand by and watch the East Timorese people get slaughtered again."
"All efforts must now be concentrated on getting a UN force on the ground immediately to protect the lives of the East Timorese, people who have clearly, unequivocally and bravely demanded their independence," Senator Bourne concluded.