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The White House

                      Office of the Press Secretary
                           (New York, New York)
For Immediate Release                                  September 6, 2000               


I was deeply saddened to learn today of the death of three dedicated international aid workers,including an American citizen, Mr. Carlos Caseras. Mr. Caseras and his colleagues were employees of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees working on an international humanitarian effort in West Timor. They were killed, and several of their co-workers were injured, by local militias who have been on a rampage of violence in West Timor. The United States has repeatedly called on the Indonesian government to take the necessary actions to disarm and disband these militias. Only such steps will create a security environment that enables provision of humanitarian assistance, resolution of the refugee problem, and a return to peace in Timor.

This tragedy gives added urgency to the Indonesian government's obligationto turn words into actions on Timor. The government of Indonesia must live up to its commitments to restore order and to ensure the safety and welfare of all refugees and foreign nationals.

I want to extend my personal condolences and that of all Americans to Carlos Caseras's family and to the families of the other victims.

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