BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor      home   April news

"In March some 2,640 refugees returned to East Timor - the highest monthly total since the UN withdrawal. ... IOM is planning to participate in an information visit to previously off-limits West Timor refugee camps next week. ... Officials hope that the visit, which is one of a number of “socialization” initiatives aimed at the refugees before the registration, will reassure refugees that it is now safe for them to return home to East Timor." Jean Philippe Chauzy, International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Spokesperson

See also: BD: Refugees & Missing Persons - A collection of recent information, reports, articles and news

International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Date: 3 Apr 2001

IOM Press Briefing Notes 03 Apr 2001: Timor, Afghanistan, India

by Jean Philippe Chauzy, IOM Spokesperson

 

Timor - Increase in the Rate of Returns in March

In March some 2,640 refugees returned to East Timor - the highest monthly total since the UN withdrawal. Nearly a third travelled from Kupang on board the Patricia Anne Hotung - the ship owned by the Hotung Institute and operated by IOM. The remainder travelled overland in IOM-funded movements organized by the Indonesian East Timor Refugee Taskforce (Satgas).

Two NGO’s - TRUK-F, also known as the Flores Volunteers, and JRS, the Jesuit Relief Service - both of which have maintained a continuous presence in the West Timor camps, have also played a key role in supporting the taskforce and encouraging refugees to register for repatriation.

IOM is planning to participate in an information visit to previously off-limits West Timor refugee camps next week. The initiative, jointly organized by regional Indonesian army commander General William Da Costa and UNTAET Chief of Staff Parameswaran, hopes to encourage refugees to return home to East Timor and to inform them about their options ahead of a planned registration scheduled for May 1st.

The visit, which was previously planned for last month, will take place between April 8th and 14th, and is expected to include visits to camps in and around Kupang, Soe, Kefamenanu, Atambua and Betun. Most of these camps have been off limits to international aid agencies since the withdrawal of the UN from West Timor in September 2000.

Officials hope that the visit, which is one of a number of “socialization” initiatives aimed at the refugees before the registration, will reassure refugees that it is now safe for them to return home to East Timor.


See also:
BD: Refugees & Missing Persons - A collection of recent information, reports, articles and news


BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor      home   April news
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