Indonesia + 1 more

Timor Activity Update: 25 Jan 2000

Situation Report
Originally published
There is a continuing need to return up to 110,000 displaced persons in West Timor to their communities of origin in East Timor, in order for rehabilitation, reconstruction and development to begin. The safe and orderly return transportation of displaced persons is the responsibility of IOM by agreement and in close co-operation with UNHCR.

Over the last three days, IOM has provided return assistance to a total of 619 displaced East Timorese. It provided onward transport to towns and villages inside East Timor for another 206 people. On 25 January, 68 returnees were transported on IOM-chartered trucks from Atambua to Batugade. Another 120 were moved from the Oecussi enclave to Dili via the Batugade border crossing. In a third cross border movement from Betun, 206 people were transported to Suai. A convoy also transported 32 people from Dili's Airport Beach returnee processing centre to the mountain town of Turiscai.

On 24th January, IOM organized two land convoys. The first carried 106 returnees from Atambua to Batugade. The second brought 119 people from the West Timor town of Wini, close to the Oecussi border, to the East Timor coastal town of Maubara. On 22 January, IOM organized the return of 174 people by Interfet helicopter from Dili to Los Palos. The giant Russian -made MI26 helicopters used by Interfet can carry up to 100 people in a single sortie. As of 21 January 2000, IOM has organised the return by land, sea and air of 82,975 East Timorese from West Timor, from other parts of Indonesia and from Australia. Over the last three months, more than 130,000 refugees have returned voluntarily in an organized or spontaneous way to East Timor.

Total returns by land

To date, IOM has returned 38,077 East Timorese by land from West Timor.

Total returns by sea

To date, IOM has returned 32,272 East Timorese by sea from West Timor and from other parts of Indonesia

Total returns by air

To date, IOM has returned 7,793 East Timorese from Kupang to Dili and 3,912 from other parts of Indonesia. A total of 921 East Timorese have so far been returned by IOM 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$ 13,710,988.

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.

Copyrights © 2000 International Organization for Migration. All rights reserved.

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