Saturday, June 10, 2006

Political leader goes into hiding

The Age

Children gather around a member of a heavily armed group holed up in East Timor's western mountains. The group's leader says his men may join rebel soldiers to force the downfall of Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri.

Photo: Jason South

Tom Hyland and Lindsay Murdoch, Dili

June 11, 2006

THE leader of East Timor's main opposition party has gone into hiding, fearing for his life following a death threat he says came from Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri.
Democratic Party leader Fernando de Araujo said he feared for his safety after local police told him they had orders from "high levels in the Government" to shoot him.
The threat was delivered by police intelligence officers, he said, but they refused to carry out the order, "as their conscience told them a different thing".
The officers did not say who in the Government issued the order, but Mr de Araujo said he believed it came from Mr Alkatiri.
"The Prime Minister is one of the most extreme guys we have in this country," Mr de Araujo told The Sunday Age from a village safe house in East Timor's west. "It's not impossible for him to kill."
He also accused Mr Alkatiri of orchestrating violence that has plunged the country into a political and security crisis, and of ordering the distribution of weapons to militants loyal to the Fretilin party, led by Mr Alkatiri and which dominates the Government.

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