Angola + 2 more

IOM Press Briefing Notes: 03 Mar 2000

East-Meets-West Reunions
TIMOR - The reunions cancelled last Saturday will be continued. Indonesian authorities, relevant entities of East Timor and the public at large want the reunions to resume. So as of Friday morning, the planned Saturday family reunion at Motaain is scheduled to take place. This will involve smaller numbers of participants and strict security measures by peacekeepers and Indonesian military (TNI) to counter potential militia activity. As for the convoys returning from West Timor, no further security incidents have occurred in Atambua since the attacks on IOM and UNHCR staff on Monday and Tuesday of last week, but the situation at the border and in the camps remains tense. IOM is concerned by the substantial drop in the number of refugees returning from West Timor in the past week.

IOM launches RQN programme for East Timor

TIMOR - IOM is launching a programme to encourage the return of qualified East Timorese nationals. The three-year programme, called Return of Qualified Nationals (RQN) plans to help 300 skilled East Timorese nationals and their families to return home by matching their skills with job vacancies that cannot be filled locally and by paying their travel costs. The programme will target the public and private sectors and will also include a self-employment option, designed to attract entrepreneurs. Qualified nationals will include health and medical professionals, economists, educators, sociologists as well as administrative personnel.

IOM's assistance will include organised and paid transport for the selected candidates and their families, an installation grant, a salary subsidy, and an equipment grant to provide candidates with the tools needed to do their jobs.
The recruitment of candidates will be done through IOM's offices in Australia, Portugal, Indonesia, Hong Kong (covering Macao) and later in Mozambique, the USA and elsewhere. IOM has already identified dozens of job opportunities for these qualified East Timorese: more than 60 teaching positions, a warehouse manager, a mechanical engineer, and UNTAET requires an array of administrators, finance officers, health professional and engineers.

Related information:

Zambia: Relocation of Angolan refugees

ZAMBIA - Acting on a request from the Zambian Government, IOM, in cooperation with UNHCR, has begun the relocation of an estimated 20,000 Angolan refugees, including some 1,000 handicapped by land mines, currently at the Angola/Zambia border to the recently established refugee resettlement camp near Nangweshi.

The Zambian Government feels that the security situation on the border is precarious. The relocation of the refugees began this week and will be carried as rapidly as possible, because heavy rains are expected in the catchment area northwest of Zambia which might flood the region between Sinjembela and Nangweshi making passage almost impossible.

Another reason for the relocation of the Angolans is the lack of accommodations and the difficulty in bringing food and others commodities to the refugees.

The refugees will be relocated by truck within the next 30 days. To expedite the transport, the Zambian Government has agreed that no transit points will be established en route. IOM expects to transport approximately 600 refugees per day.

More than 21,000 Angolan refugees have arrived in Zambia since November 1999 due to an upsurge in fighting between government forces and UNITA. Zambia hosts more than 200,000 refugees, the majority of whom are Angolans. Many of the new arrivals are currently scattered along approximately 90 Km, just across the border, in the Sinjembela region.

IOM will provide basic medical screening and assistance. For cases requiring specialized medical attention will be referred to MSF, or, if required, evacuated to the nearest medical facilities.

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