Thursday, March 01, 2007

Reinado vows he'll never surrender to Aust forces

Reinado vows he'll never surrender to Aust forces
By Michael Vincent

East Timor's rebel army major Alfredo Reinado has vowed he will never surrender to Australian forces.

The rebel leader is holed up with dozens of his supporters in a small town south of Dili.

East Timor's President Xanana Gusmao has authorised Australian forces to track down Major Reinado and arrest him.

Major Reinado has told the ABC he is willing to fight to the death.

"I have machetes here to defend myself because that's a dignity that is my right," he said.

"I'm not going to die like a coward, but I die for my nation and my right, my constitution and my judicial system.

"The right of my dignity, of my country."

The Commander of the International Stabilisation Force in East Timor, Brigadier Mal Rerden, has urged the fugitive rebel leader to surrender.

Brigadier Rerden says Major Reinado should face the East Timorese justice system.

"He has the opportunity to stand up and prove whether or not he is a leader and exercise some leadership by committing to a peaceful outcome and a process of proper justice," he said.

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