Over the last three days, IOM has helped a total of 461 displaced East Timorese to return home from West Timor.
Today, Friday 3 March, an IOM land convoy repatriated 95 people from the West Timor city of Atambua to the border town of Batugade. 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. As of Friday morning, the planned Saturday family reunion at Motaain is scheduled to take place. This will involve smaller numbers of participant and strict security measures by peacekeepers and Indonesian military (TNI) to counter potential militia activity. . Secondary movements from Dili today included 9 people travelling from the Carantina processing centre to Maubisse, and one person from Dili to Los Palos.
On Thursday 2 March, IOM transported 70 people from the Atambua camps to Batugade. All of them travelled on to the border towns of Balibo and Maliana. Secondary movements from Dili included 88 people to Ermera. On Wednesday 1 March 296 people crossed the border from Atambua. Secondary movements from Dili included 67 people to Atsabe and 33 people to Matata. Tomorrow, Saturday 4 March, the IOM-operated ship the Patricia Anne Hotung will dock at Dili with 200 returnees from Kupang. Two flights from Jakarta carrying 200 returnees are also expected.
As of March 3, IOM and UNHCR have organised the return by land, sea and air of 96,350 East Timorese from West Timor, from other parts of Indonesia and from Australia. The total number of returnees now stands at 144,543
- Total returns by land: 49,695 by land from West Timor.
- Total returns by sea: 33,742 by sea from West Timor and from other parts of Indonesia
- Total returns by air: 7,793 from Kupang to Dili, 3,937 from the rest of Indonesia , 1,183 from Australia.
IOM has received support from the international community to fund its Timor activities. Portugal, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, Japan and ECHO financed IOM's return movements to East Timor totalling US$ 14,210,988.
Now that the emergency phase is winding down, efforts are concentrated on post-conflict rehabilitation through a range of interrelated projects such as the return of qualified nationals, reintegration of demobilized combatants, mobile information and referral services, community based rehabilitation and migration management capacity building. These activities form an integral part of the international humanitarian communities' response to the crisis.
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