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Humanitarian Coordinator's Situation Report - East Timor Crisis 07 Dec 1999

Situation Report
Originally published
General: Following a meeting at Batugade between INTERFET Commander, Major General Cosgrove, and Major General Kiki Syahnakri, Udayana Region Commander, UNTAET military liaison officers will redeploy to the following six crossing sites within the next 24-48 hours: Wini, Passabe, Bobameto, Motain, Haekesak, and Salele.
Returns: On 7 December, 276 returnees crossed at Batugade from Atambua on organised convoys for onward movement to Balibo, Maliana and Maubara. An IOM-chartered ferry carried 328 returnees from Kupang to Dili. At Suai, 23 returnees crossed from Betun by mid-afternoon with further crossings expected later today. Harassment on the East Timor side of the border is one factor contributing to low returns. In Oekussi, in an organised movement, four returnees crossed at Wini. There are presently 349 persons in the Don Bosco transit centre in Dili awaiting secondary movement, of whom 104 are waiting to travel to Atsabe and 90 to Same. Total repatriations to East Timor, incorporating corrected figures, now number 113, 581.

"Go and See" Program: As part of on-going efforts to counter "black information," humanitarian agencies are continuing to organise visits to East Timor for journalists and community leaders from West Timor. At the initiative of CRS, a group of eight religious leaders from the Kupang area will visit several locations in East Timor beginning 9 December. A group of refugees from Soe are expected to visit Same this week.

Oekussi: CARE personnel were stopped while crossing at Bobameto by unarmed youths and warned to limit their purchases in West Timor to private consumption items only. At Wini, CARE staff were also harassed by two groups of unarmed youths, and told that they were not permitted to transport items purchased in West Timor into the enclave. At Wini, TNI personnel intervened and assisted the crossing of the CARE personnel.

Aileu: IOM delivered an initial tranche of personal hygiene items, cooking pots, washing powder, and 1.5 MTs of rice to Falintil members in Aileu. Further deliveries of emergency humanitarian relief items to Falintil in the Aileu cantonment area are being considered as part of a reintegration programme.

West Timor: Since 4 December, mobile medical teams have been deployed to Tuapukan camp near Kupang where an increase in the mortality rate was recently reported. In addition, five NGOs are now working in the site, including MSF and the Indonesian Red Cross. UNHCR has recently assigned a field officer to monitor activities. Health and WATSAN experts are expected in the next few days. Agencies report that conditions are continuing to deteriorate in other camps as the
rainy season progresses. The East Timor Video Project, which comprises footage to encourage returns, was launched today at the Nai Bonat refugee site, 30 kilometers from Kupang. Indonesian authorities have pledged full support for the project and guaranteed security during the presentation.

Ms. Nellie Chan, who will be responsible for voluntary repatriation of East Timorese arrived in Dili yesterday. Ms. Chan will oversee repatriation operations in both East and West Timor.

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