Friday, March 02, 2007

Reinado ready to negotiate

Last Update: Friday, March 2, 2007. 12:30pm (AEDT)
Reinado ready to negotiate: report
Fugitive East Timor rebel leader Alfredo Reinado is reportedly ready to negotiate with the Government in Dili.

The former army major has told Indonesian radio the unrest can be resolved only through talks.

East Timor has asked Australian-led international troops to capture Reinado, who is believed to be hiding south of Dili after escaping from prison last year.

The commander of the international force, Brigadier Mal Rerden, says Renaido should face the East Timorese justice system.

"There is always room for Alfredo Reinado to indicate his preparedness to put down his weapons," he said.

"There's always room for him to hand himself into the authorities and for him to put himself before the justice process."

Brigadier Rerden says he is confident that stability can be maintained in the country if Renaido is arrested.

The Australian Government has increased the level of its travel warning for East Timor saying the risk of violent civil unrest is high.

Brigadier Rerden says the stabilisation force can handle any unrest that might result from Renaido's arrest.

"There's always the potential for people to get worked up in some of the situations that we find here," he said.

"We have a very sound operational plan and response plan that allows us to deal with a range of circumstances in that security environment so I'm confident that we'll be able to deal with the situation as it evolves."

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