Source: International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Date: 30 Oct 2001
IOM press briefing notes 30 Oct 2001: Afghanistan, Timor, Zambia/Angola
by Jean Philippe Chauzy, IOM Spokesperson
East Timor - Returns on the Increase
In October, IOM has assisted 3,233 East Timorese refugees to return home, the highest number of returns in a single month since March 2000 when 9,485 East Timorese were assisted to return home.
This significant increase can be attributed to the ongoing reconciliation process that has boosted the confidence of refugees as to the situation in East Timor, especially since the successful 30 August elections. On Saturday, IOM assisted 798 refugees from camps in West Timor to return home. Top East Timorese and Indonesian officials met at a border crossing in Suai district to greet the returnees.
IOM expects thousands of refugees to return before the full onset of the rainy season and the Christmas celebrations. Since October 1999 IOM has assisted 136,296 East Timorese to return home.
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