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BACK DOOR Newsletter on East Timor

'Refugees' & Missing Persons
'Refugiados' e Desaparecido
'Réfugiés' ou Déplacés:

Part 2: calls

A collection of recent reports, articles and news on the ongoing situation of East Timorese persons who were forcibly relocated to Indonesian West Timor.


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Part 2 up-dated: Feb 14, 2002

NEW = Added to BACK DOOR Website since last Monday's Emailout


Contents:

Part 1: context

Part 2: calls  [this page]
* Petitions & Lobbying
* Calls for the return of 'refugees'
* Blocking or slowing their return
* Other related info




Part 2: calls


Petitions & Lobbying

see also calls for the return of 'refugees'

Sep 24 IHRC & TLS: Urgent Action - ET Children Held in Indonesia  Action added Oct 17
"Considerable international pressure will be needed to reunite hundreds of East Timorese children, held in Indonesia, with their parents. ... In the aftermath of the violence in East Timor in 1999, hundreds of children were separated from their parents. It is feared that many have been forced to work in Indonesian sweatshops and plantations or as prostitutes. Australian journalists have been following the fate of 130 children, who were taken from refugee camps in West Timor to primitive orphanages in Java." Indonesia Human Rights Committee & Timor Lorosae Support, New Zealand

ETAN/U.S.: Current Action Alerts: http://www.etan.org/action/urgntMnu.htm  [includes actions to: End the Refugee Crisis]  Link updated Sep 1

Sep 8 ETese NGOs write UNHCR to protest planned withdrawal  Letter added Sep 13
"We write to express our concerns and recommendations regarding the winding down and the closure of the UNHCR operation in East Timor. We understand that UNHCR field offices in Baucau and Maliana are due to be closed by September 31st, and humanitarian assistance for the returnees will cease on the 31st October 2001. We believe this reduction is untimely as it is widely expected that returns will increase following the announcement of the result of the elections for a Constituent Assembly in East Timor and continue until at least next year.
... we recommend that UNHCR act upon the following:
* Maintain its current presence in East Timor until at least June 2002.
* Extend humanitarian assistance to returnees until at least June 2002, when a further needs assessment can be made.
* Increase co-ordination and co-operation with both governmental and non-governmental organisations that are currently assisting refugees in West Timor. This will further enable UNHCR to fulfil its mandate towards the protection and assistance of these refugees, while it is not physically present in West Timor.
* Engage in a more comprehensive way with non-governmental organisations in East Timor currently advocating and working towards returnees’ reintegration." NGO Forum; Dewan Solidaritas Mahasiswa TL; Yayasan HAK; FOKUPERS; Kadalak Sulimutuk Institute; RENETIL; Jesuit Refugee Service; Oxfam in East Timor.


Calls for the return of 'refugees' & missing persons

Includes calls for safe environment for the 'refugees' & resolution of the 'refugee crisis'

See also Petitions & Lobbying

Feb 8 CCET: Freedom without justice in East Timor?  Statement added Feb 14
"An international support network of Christian groups and churches at the Twelfth Christian Consultation on East Timor, held in Antwerp from 7-9 December, joined its voice to a mounting international campaign and called for Indonesia to set a deadline of July 2002, after which an international tribunal should be set up to deliver justice. ... [CCET] made the following recommendations to UN bodies: ... 7) The remaining militias in West Timor must now be effectively disarmed and prosecuted if necessary, so that potential future cross-border destabilisation is averted. This will enable the remaining refugees to return to East Timor if they so wish. In addition, all remaining armed groups within East Timor should now be fully disarmed." Catherine Scott for Christian Consultation on East Timor (CCET)

Oct 30 UNSC: ET women: ‘Arria formula’ meeting  Speech added Nov 2
"East Timorese women call for a concerted effort by the UN to help reunite displaced families, and in particular to bring together unaccompanied children who were separated as a result of the organized violence. We also call for a return of East Timorese refugees in West Timor, where women and children under the control of the militia are often sexually attacked and suffer from malnutrition and poor health." Natércia Godinho-Adams, on behalf of East Timorese women’s organizations

Sep 12 GLW: West Timor: Jakarta’s militia terrorise refugee camps  Article added Sep 19
“When we returned to Dili, in East Timor, the APCET [Asia-Pacific Coalition on East Timor] delegation held a press conference to announce its findings and make a number of recommendations, the most important being that the Indonesian government must disband the militia. The UN and international NGOs should take control of the camps, solve the social problems and facilitate the repatriation of the majority of the refugees. People who wish to stay should be given houses and the camps closed down.” Jill Hickson, independent film-maker and member of Action in Solidarity with Indonesia and East Timor (ASIET)

Sep 6 CONG: Anniversary of Suai massacre & Atambua murders  Statements added Sep 7
"If we in the United States and the international community are not to fail the people of East Timor once again -
* We must support an International Criminal Tribunal  ...
* We must take immediate steps to protect and return home safely the East Timorese refugees ...
* We must continue to provide humanitarian, economic and development aid to East Timor ...
* We must continue to suspend all U.S. military aid and training to the Indonesian military ...
* We must strongly and unambiguously support the independence process in East Timor, ... " Rep. James P. McGovern

Sep 6 CONG: Anniversary of Suai massacre & Atambua murders  Statements added Sep 7
"I support Senator Harkin’s Resolution calling for the establishment of an international war crimes tribunal to prosecute crimes against humanity in East Timor. I have also worked with Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont to restrict funding to Indonesia unless the Indonesian government allows refugees to return to East Timor and is actively committed to peace with East Timor." U.S. Senator Jack Reed

Sep 6 ETAN: Grassroots & Congressional Action Mark Anniversary of Timor Massacres  Release added Sep 6
““East Timor took an historic step with last week’s democratic, multiparty election. Yet, the U.S. and the wider international community have failed to fully address critical issues,” said John M. Miller, spokesperson for ETAN. “The victims of past crimes require justice and all refugees in West Timor who wish to return must be able to do so.” Approximately one-tenth of those eligible to vote last week in East Timor’s constituent assembly election could not do so. They were among the estimated 80,000 East Timorese still held in squalid refugee camps in Indonesian West Timor. Humanitarian workers have described widespread malnutrition, epidemics, militia intimidation and violence against women in the camps, which are controlled by militia backed by the Indonesian military.” East Timor Action Network (ETAN)

Sep 3 STL: Bishop Belo invites refugees to return because of peaceful election News from ETimor added Sep 4
“You have all seen the way the 30 August election was conducted. It was peaceful and calm. Because of that, I appeal to all of you to return home to your country of birth so that you can live peacefully with all of us, ... We will congratulate which party that gets the most votes. Those parties that do not get enough votes must not be disappointed because they will have an opportunity again in four or five years time,” Nobel Peace Laureate Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo

French:
Aug 23 ApT: Le réglement de la question du Timor oriental est une question internationale  Release added Aug 25
"Nous appellons le gouvernement français à maintenir son niveau d’implication dans la mission de l’ONU, à soutenir la création d’un tribunal pénal ad hoc pour Timor-Est et à agir de manière énergique pour que les Timorais de l’Est deplacés en Indonésie échappent à la terreur de milices soutenues par l’armée et puissent choisir librement de rentrer ou de rester en Indonésie." Agir pour Timor

Aug 23 ApT: A solution of the ETimor issue is an international question  Release added Aug 25
"We call on the French government to keep its level of implication in the UN mission, to support the creation of an ad hoc international penal tribunal for East Timor and to act energetically so that the East Timorese displaced in Indonesia escape the terror of army-supported militia and can freely choose to go back or stay in Indonesia." Agir pour Timor

July 2001 LHB: The United Nations: Aiding or Undermining a Resolution of the Refugee Crisis?  Editorial added July 29
"But during this transitional period, UNTAET and the governments of the world have a different role: they must use their leverage, including whatever pressure the international community can muster, “to ensure the safe return of refugees and displaced persons.” For nearly two years, it has been clear that significant efforts must take place to disarm, disband, and remove militia from the camps if the East Timorese trapped in West Timor are to have a free choice. The U.N. has repeatedly stated this, and Jakarta has made numerous promises. Yet one-tenth of the East Timorese population is still under occupation. In 1975 and in 1999 the international community failed to enforce its strong words with actions, and East Timorese people died.  It must not happen a third time. -- Time is running out." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

Jul 23 ETAN Urges New Indonesian President to Show Support for ETimor  Release added Aug 1
"ETAN warned today that past actions of new Indonesian president Megawati Sukarnoputri suggested that her rule could adversely affect East Timor. ETAN urged her to begin her presidency by addressing the worsening refugee crisis in West Timor and supporting an international tribunal for East Timor. ETAN urged her to act swiftly to disarm and disband militia now destabilizing East Timor and controlling East Timorese refugees in Indonesia." John M. Miller, The East Timor Action Network (ETAN)

Jul 19 Correspondence with U.S. Embassy on Refugee Registration  Letter added July 21
"The East Timorese refugees should be a priority issue in all relations with the Indonesian government. The United States must increase pressure on Indonesia to disarm and disband the militias, who threaten to terrorize the refugees indefinitely, while destabilizing both East Timor and Indonesia. We urge the United States to make World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and other non-humanitarian assistance for Indonesia contingent upon compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1319, as the U.S. administration indicated prior to and during the meeting of the Consultative Group on Indonesia in October 2000, and to actively and creatively work towards a resolution of the refugee crisis." Karen Orenstein, East Timor Action Network; Jana Mason, Policy Analyst/Congressional Liaison, U.S. Committee for Refugees; Kurt Biddle, Indonesia Human Rights Network; Mubarak Awad, Nonviolence International

Jul 9 SMH: Rescuing the hostages of Timor's bitter fortunes  Comment added July 12
"The fate of the 70,000 East Timorese refugees in camps in the west does not command headline treatment in Australia. Their fate is, however, of direct humanitarian concern to Australia, given their exile is a direct consequence of Australian and other international intervention in East Timor in 1999. We have been content to bathe in the reflected glory of the achievements of the Australian Defence Force. We must be equally prepared to engage vigorously in the complex and less glamorous diplomacy needed to secure the return of those displaced." Kevin Rudd, Federal MP [Australia] and chairman of the opposition party’s policy committee on national security and trade and a former diplomat

Jun 30 JCCJP: Japanese church leaders oppose Japanese troops in East Timor  Position statement added July 10
"Most Japanese people want Japan to contribute to world peace first and foremost by strictly adhering to its war-renouncing “peace constitution.” They believe that Japan can best contribute to the rebuilding of East Timor by providing humanitarian and economic aid in keeping with the principles of our Constitution and by an active diplomacy with Indonesia to punish crimes against humanity, facilitate the return of the refugees and ensure a secure environment for the new nation of Timor Lorosae." Japanese Catholic Council for Justice and Peace

Portuguese:
Jul 2 OTL: Refugiados; um recenseamento inútil e perigoso  Report added July 11
"Todos os esforços da comunidade internacional devem estar orientados para obrigar a Indonésia a separar as ex-milícias dos outros refugiados e estabelecer a segurança." Observatório Timor Leste

Jul 2 ETO: Refugee registration: futile and dangerous  Report added July 11
"All the international community’s efforts should now focus on forcing Indonesia to separate the former militias from the other refugees and to provide the latter with a safe and secure environment." East Timor Observatory

French:
jui 2 OTO: Réfugiés : un recensement inutile et dangereux  Report added July 11
"Tous les efforts de la communauté internationale doivent être orientés vers l’obligation faite à l’Indonésie de séparer les milices des autres réfugiés et de rétablir la sécurité." Observatoire Timor-Oriental

Jun 13 ET NGO: Donors’ Conference: Refugees  Paper added June 15
""There are still tens of thousands of East Timorese who fled across the border to West Timor in September 1999 and who are still waiting in the camps until they think it safe to return to East Timor. Those of greatest concern to the NGO Forum are those who fled from violence and crossed the border by force or in confusion. ... it is an injustice that these persons are being denied the right to participate in the East Timor election of 30 August 2001" Forum Nacional ONG Timor Lorosa'e / The East Timor National NGO Forum

Jun 1 Gabrielson: U.S. Responsibility in the West Timor Refugee Crisis  Report added July 11
"The U.S., as number-one ally of Indonesia, should use its many connections within the government and military of Indonesia to press hard for the immediate disarming, disbanding, and criminal trial of the militias in West Timor." Curt Gabrielson

May 4 CNS: Pressure will bring Timorese refugees home, says former JRS head  News added May 10
“The allies of Indonesia can help by direct contact with the Indonesian government or its military, imploring them to take that control, [of the militias] ... There is no process of accountability for the perpetrators of the violence, and in those camps are many militias, ... Without the help of the international community, these camps will not be liberated from the control of the militias," Jesuit Father Mark Raper, former head of Jesuit Refugee Service

French & English:
Apr 28 Agir pour Timor demande la création immédiate d’un tribunal pénal international ad hoc sur Timor-Est / Agir pour Timor calls for the immediate creation of an ad hoc international criminal court on ETimor  Release added May 1
. "Dans son rapport, Agir pour Timor recommande: - Des pressions sur l’Indonésie relatives aux coopérations militaire et économique jusqu’au démantèlement réel des milices timoraises, la mise des camps de déplacés sous contrôle international et le rapatriement des Timorais qui le souhaitent à Timor Est. - Le prolongement de la présence militaire internationale à Timor-Est jusqu’à ce que le gouvernement d’un Timor Loro Sa’e indépendant juge qu’elle n’est plus nécessaire." Rapport Agir pour Timor
. "Agir pour Timor recommends: - Pressure on Indonesia relative to military and economic cooperation until a real disbanding of East Timorese militias, an international control of the camps of displaced East Timorese and the repatriation to East Timor of all those East Timorese wishing so. - An extension of the international military presence in East Timor until the government of an independent Timor Loro Sa’e deems it is not necessary anymore." Agir pour Timor report

Apr 23 SMH: Mary Robinson supports repatriation of Timorese 'war prize'   News added Apr 25
"The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mrs Mary Robinson, has thrown her support behind efforts to free an East Timorese teenage girl taken as a “war prize” by a pro-Indonesian militia leader. ... The case of 16-year old Juliana dos Santos was raised at last month’s 57th congress of the UN Commission on Human Rights by Mrs Kirsty Sword Gusmao, the Australian wife of East Timor’s independence leader, Mr Xanana Gusmao." Mark Dodd, Herald Correspondent in Dili

Bahasa Indonesia:
Mar 23 CNRT: Kirsty Sword Gusmão Beserta Keluarga Perempuan Yang Diculik Milisi Akan  Release
"Isterinya Presiden CNRT-CN akan berangkat ke Geneva besok bersama bibinya Juliana dos Santos, seorang perempuan berusia 15 tahun yang diculik dan ditahan di Timor Barat sejak tahun 1999. Di Geneva Kirsty Sword Gusmão akan menghadiri suatu konperensi yang diselenggarakan oleh UNHCR dengan tema kekerasan terhadap kaum perempuan. Bersama dengan Ny. Domingas Santa Mouzinho, Ny. Sword Gusmão juga bermaksud untuk menyampaikan suatu pernyataan mengenai situasi Juliana pada Komisi PBB untuk Hak Azasi Manusia."  Sarah Niner & Lurdes Bessa, CNRT

Mar 23 CNRT: Kristy Sword Gusmao & Kidnap Girl's Family to plead case in Geneva  Release
"[Ms Sword Gusmão and kidnap girl's family] hope that if Juliana can be returned it will offer a glimmer of hope to other women, their families and communities and believe that other East Timorese women being held in West Timor by militias in similar circumstances must also be returned." Sarah Niner & Lurdes Bessa, CNRT

Mar 10 ETAN: Memo to UN Commission on H. Rights  Memo
"Indonesia must guarantee the safety of international and local humanitarian workers in West Timor, ensuring they have unimpeded access to refugees and can supervise in an environment free of fear and intimidation to enable each refugee to choose whether to return to East Timor or settle in Indonesia." East Timor Action Network/U.S.

Feb 26 IHRN Urges Continued Ban on U.S. Aid to Indonesian Military  Release
"The Indonesian military and government must respect international law in its actions. In addition, the U.S. government should work to guarantee the safety of, and assistance to, the nearly one million refugees and displaced persons who have fled violence across the archipelago." Octovianus Mote, a West Papuan journalist

Feb 22 FCatholic: Bishop Belo to President Bush  Letter
"others [in refugee camps in Indonesia] wish to return home to East Timor, but have been subjected to intimidation and other forms of pressure. Some are in receipt of Indonesian pensions that under present rules they would forfeit if they return to East Timor. The refugees in West Timor should be allowed to choose whether or not they wish to return home without further delay, and must be allowed to receive the pensions they have earned wherever they choose to live."  Bishop Belo, writing to President Bush

Jan 27 ETAN/IHRN: Rights groups urge continued suspension of military ties with Indonesia  Release
"The U.S. must not support TNI before Indonesia fully meets its repeated pledges to the international community, including the safe return of East Timorese refugees and disarming and disbanding of militia groups in West Timor. Indonesian authorities must arrest and extradite militia leaders and must cooperate with the creation of an international human rights tribunal for crimes committed in East Timor. Most critically, there must be civilian control of the Indonesian military. If the Bush administration genuinely supports democracy in Indonesia, it must make its commitment clear to the Indonesian military," John M. Miller, East Timor Action Network

Dec 2 2000 CCET: Christian churches call for justice and peace in East Timor  Statement
"according to the United Nations, over 100,000 remain in refugee camps, many in situations of squalor and fear. Many families have been separated, and there are reports of children being taken to orphanages in Java and elsewhere. Credible accounts refer to ongoing intimidation from elements of the militia forces which devastated the physical infrastructure of East Timor last year.  Following the August killing of three UN workers, and the withdrawal of the international refugee agencies, these people, many of whom are women and children, are now more vulnerable than ever. Recalling UN Security Council Resolutions 1272 and 1319, we call for the immediate and safe return or resettlement of these refugees, having made informed and free decisions on their own wishes for their future livelihoods. In order to expedite this process, we urge the disarmament and separation of militia elements from the refugees in the camps. We call for children, who have been separated from their families  to be reunited with their parents."
Christian Consultation on East Timor (statement signed by 36 Christian organisations and churches)


Blocking or slowing the return of 'refugees'

 See info on the Refugee Registration sham & Conditions in the camps

Feb 12 JRS: Repatriation of ETimor Refugees from WTimor  News added Feb 14
"On 30 January JRS Betun and Atambua (West Timor) attended a meeting to evaluate the current state of play concerning repatriation efforts of East Timor refugees. The meeting, held in Belu military district was attended by local officials, such as the Deputy head of the Belu district administration, the district military commander, and prominent figures from amongst the East Timor refugees. It was reported at the meeting that only 401 families had returned to East Timor, or only ten per cent of original predictions of 4000. In the last three months alone another 85 families have moved on to Sumatra according to the Belu officials. The JRS delegation felt that the meeting was not overly productive and did not bear any fruit as to possible solutions for the repatriation of the East Timor refugees." Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS)

Feb 8 CCET: Freedom without justice in East Timor?  Statement added Feb 14
"An international support network of Christian groups and churches at the Twelfth Christian Consultation on East Timor, held in Antwerp from 7-9 December, joined its voice to a mounting international campaign and called for Indonesia to set a deadline of July 2002, after which an international tribunal should be set up to deliver justice. ... [CCET] made the following recommendations to UN bodies: ... 7) The remaining militias in West Timor must now be effectively disarmed and prosecuted if necessary, so that potential future cross-border destabilisation is averted. This will enable the remaining refugees to return to East Timor if they so wish. In addition, all remaining armed groups within East Timor should now be fully disarmed." Catherine Scott for Christian Consultation on East Timor (CCET)

Feb 4 Age: UN fears for future of East Timorese refugees  News added Feb 6
"A senior UN official is pessimistic that it will be possible to return about 70,000 East Timorese refugees stranded in Indonesian camps to their homeland before independence on May 20. ... In the past two years, 716 children have been reunited with their parents, but more than double that number are still outside the territory. Mr Kerblat said that although the UNHCR received excellent cooperation from some Indonesian officials in 2001, “currently we detect very, very few efforts to promote returns, despite our increased meetings and efforts to promote reconciliation”." Jill Jolliffe, Dili

Jan 30 MFAC: Horta Addresses UN Security Council  Release added Jan 31
"There are still some 40,000 to 70,000 East Timorese refugees living in refugee camps in West Timor. There are many reasons why the refugees have not yet returned to their homeland. I agree with Mr. de Mello’s assessment that this reluctance to return is due to an ongoing campaign of misinformation and intimidation in the camps, as well as, and perhaps more importantly, economic concerns. Those who have returned to East Timor tell of wild rumours circulating in the camps about how refugees who have returned to their villages have been tortured or even killed. To counter this, various agencies have instigated a number of “come-and-see” visits from the refugee camps. In addition, the Swiss-funded Fondation Hirondelle began daily language broadcasts on Radio UNTAET, which are re-broadcast on the Indonesian State's radio network in West Timor. This helps to provide accurate information to the refugees on the conditions in East Timor." Dr Jose Ramos-Horta is Senior Minister & Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Second Transitional Government East Timor

October 2001 LHB: Commission for Reception, Truth & Reconciliation  Overview added Nov 9
"If the CRTR is to attract refugees in West Timor to return, it will need cooperation from higher-level militia members who control the movement of the refugees." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

Sep 6 ETAN: Grassroots & Congressional Action Mark Anniversary of Timor Massacres  Release added Sep 6
“We are deeply disappointed that the Bush administration has not made a priority of a just resolution to East Timor’s refugee crisis or even publicly called for an international tribunal, ... We are disturbed by the administration’s stated plans to renew ties with the Indonesian military, especially now as this repressive force continues its brutal tactics against civilians throughout Indonesia.” Diane Farsetta, East Timor Action Network (ETAN)’s Field Organizer

July 2001 LHB: The United Nations: Aiding or Undermining a Resolution of the Refugee Crisis?  Editorial added July 29
"Another ten months more have since passed, and tens of thousands of East Timorese remain in West Timor in refugee camps, surrounded and terrorized by the militias and TNI who displaced them. Abominable conditions exist in the camps where there are serious—and sometimes fatal—problems of malnutrition and disease. And corrupt officials control what little humanitarian aid remains. That such a situation has existed for so long is a devastating indictment of UNTAET’s and the international community’s ability and, perhaps, willingness to support the human rights of the East Timorese. In addition to its calamitous effects on human lives, it demonstrates to Indonesia’s military leaders that they can defy international law with impunity." La'o Hamutuk: East Timor Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis

Mar 14 Japan: NGO Joint Petition on UNCHR 57th session  Petition
"The repatriation of the 100,000 to 130,000 East Timorese refugees still in West Timor has slowed almost to a halt since the murder of three UNHCR staff in West Timor last September. The UN has called repeatedly for the militias in West Timor to be disarmed and removed from the refugee camps, and a UN Security Council investigative team which visited West Timor in November last year found that militias continued to obstruct the repatriation process. Indonesian authorities, however, have done nothing but restate that the militias have already been officially disbanded and the security situation has returned to normal, taking no effective action to disarm and disperse the militias." NGO Joint Petition on UNCHR 57th session

Feb 2 JP: Aditjondro: ETimorese becoming guests in their own land  Interview
"So the continuous offensive attitude (towards East Timor) is a strategy, evident from the fact that Indonesia has not been very cooperative in allowing those in West Timor to return, because (the refugees) are their bargaining chip (with the international community). The international community have thus conceded that no international tribunal (will be conducted). ... If Indonesia wants it could easily dismantle all the militias, it could work with organizations and the Church to accommodate the 100,000 (refugees); therefore Indonesia has not been ready to give up East Timor." George Junus Aditjondro, self-exiled author and lecturer from Indonesia, currently teaching at Newcastle University

Jan 30 SMH: Community radio fights campaign of fear  News added Feb 3
"A community radio station is being used to counter propaganda from pro-Indonesia militia groups and convince thousands of refugees who fled East Timor or were deported after the 1999 independence vote to return home." Mark Dodd


Other related info

Jun 18 CAA-OA: A step at a time in East Timor  Interview added June 21
"You can imagine it’s a highly violent atmosphere they’re living in and it’s demoralising for the families living there as refugees. ... We also do advocacy and lobbying work through national NGOs, to the Indonesian government, about issues of rejection and issues of the militia in the camps." Keryn Clark, Country Programme Manager, Oxfam Australia (Community Aid Abroad)

Jun 4 AP: No Early UN Military Withdrawal From E Timor -Ramos Horta  News added June 12
[any reduction in the present UN peacekeeping 8,000 strong force] “ ... will be conditioned by the situation ... in West Timor, ... In order to facilitate the peace and independence of East Timor, there should be no early withdrawal,” Jose Ramos-Horta, Cabinet Member for Foreign Affairs, United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor

Apr 3 IOM: Timor - Increase in the Rate of Returns in March  News added Apr 15
"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

Feb 23 ST: Rape in ETimor, Gusmao's wife criticizes Indonesia
"According to a member of the E. Timor HAM Commission, Juliana has been repeatedly raped in a refugee camp and became pregnant. ... Ramos Horta said there are still about 80,000 refugees in Atambua who want to go home to E. Timor, but unfortunately their desires are being obstructed by militia." Surya Timor

Feb 19 NTTX: Indon reporters: At this time Timor Lorosae is a nation that's safe  News from WTimor
"The conclusion is that Timor Lorosae is now a safe country, especially in Dili, and not some joke so that there is no reason for Timor Lorosae people in refuge to be afraid to go home except for those whose hands are "bloody," because their fear really exists inside themselves wherever they go." NTT Ekspres


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