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Timor Activity Update: 13 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, as security in camps in West Timor seems to improve.

Over the last three days, 1,932 people have been repatriated by IOM from camps in the region of Atambua, Betun and Kefa. Returnees were taken by IOM to transit centres in Batugade, Suai and Passabe (in the Oecussi/Ambeno enclave). IOM staff reports that security in some of the camps seems to have improved, with less militia intimidation. Repatriation from camps the Kupang area continues, although at a slower pace. On 11 December, 185 people returned to Dili on IOM chartered ferry and plane.

As of 13 December, IOM has organized the return by land, sea and air of 67,603 East Timorese from West Timor, from Indonesia and from Australia. So far, more than 120,000 people have returned in an organized or in a spontaneous way to East Timor.

Total returns by land

To date, IOM has returned 27,047 East Timorese by land from West Timor.

Total returns by sea

To date, IOM has returned 28,792 East Timorese by sea from West Timor and from other parts of Indonesia

Total returns by air

To date, IOM has returned 7,099 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.


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.

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