Mon, 29 Aug 1994

Rebels still problem in Timor

DILI, East Timor: The local military conceded Saturday that remnants of the Fretelin rebel group and social problems remain problems which hinder the development of the province.

"We have to admit that the problems are affecting the development of the province, and the government must try to overcome them," said Lt. Col. Soeprapto Tarman, chief of staff of the Wiradharma military command, which oversees security in East Timor.

He said the number of Fretelin rebels had dropped from 2,000 in 1989 to about 200 with 100 rifles at present, Antara reported.

He added that although the number of rebels is small, the military has to remain vigilant because the separatists still posed a threat to local stability. (pan)