Indonesia + 1 more

Timor Activity Update: 10 Dec 1999

There is an urgent need to return East Timorese displaced from West Timor and elsewhere in Indonesia to their communities of origin in order for rehabilitation, reconstruction and development to begin as quickly as possible. The safe and orderly return transportation of displaced persons is the responsibility of IOM by agreement and in close cooperation with UNHCR.

Land movements on the increase despite militia continued intimidation. Today, IOM assisted a total of 799 people back to East Timor,

In the Atambua area, IOM and UNHCR teams "extracted" 279 refugees from Haliwen, Fatubenu, Fatukmetan and Labur camps. IOM team succeeded in picking up 17 refugees from the Labur camp where militia training and intimidation remains very much in evidence. On 8 December, when this camp was first visited, militiamen had only allowed one family to leave. Returnees were taken on board 26 IOM leased trucks to the Motaain border crossing before proceeding to reception centres in Batugade.

Further to the south, 443 persons were "extracted" from camps in Betun, Besikama, Bakateu, Nenuk and transported on board 28 IOM leased trucks to the Wala border crossing. IOM medical personnel treated several people suffering from malaria and severe dehydration.

An IOM chartered ferry transporting 77 East Timorese from the Island of Flores arrived in Dili.

* As of 10 December, IOM has organized the return by land, sea and air

of 65,486 East Timorese from West Timor, from Indonesia and from Australia. So far, more than 118,000 people have returned in an organized or in a spontaneous way to East Timor.

* Total returns by land

To date, IOM has returned 25,115 East Timorese by land from West Timor.

* Total returns by sea.

To date, IOM has returned 28,690 East Timorese by sea from West Timor and from other parts of Indonesia

* Total returns by air

To date, IOM has returned 7,016 East Timorese from Kupang to Dili and 3,908 from other parts of Indonesia.

A total of 757 East Timorese have so far been returned by IOM from Darwin to Dili.

* Funding

IOM has made an appeal to the international community for US$25,565,000 for its Timor activities. This includes US$23,250,000 for the return assistance of displaced people to East Timor. So far a total of US$6,678,525 have been pledged by Portugal, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Germany, the Netherlands and ECHO. IOM currently faces a shortfall of US$18,886,481.