Over the last three days, IOM has helped a total of 1,041 displaced East Timorese to return home from West Timor. IOM also provided onward transport to towns and villages inside East Timor for another 503 people.
On 28 January, IOM with the assistance of INTERFET transported by helicopter 45 returnees from the Oecussi enclave to Dili. Another 22 returnees were airlifted from Dili's airport beach processing centre to Same, in south central East Timor. One IOM land convoy repatriated 72 people from Atambua to Batugade. In East Timor, IOM also provided secondary transportation for 33 people from Dili to the eastern town of Los Palos.
On 27 January, IOM trucks transported 100 people from the border town of Salele, near Suai, to Hatuhudo, near Ainaro. In East Timor, another 91 returnees were transported from Dili to Bazartete, and 68 from Dili to Aileu.
On 26 January, the IOM operated ship Patricia Anne Hotung docked in Dili with 349 returnees from the Kupang area refugee camps. Another 347 returnees from the Atambua area crossed the border by truck at Batugade. A further 228 were transported across the border from Betun to Suai. All land convoys were escorted to the border crossing points by Indonesian military (TNI)
As of 28 January, IOM has organised the return by land, sea and air of 84,116 East Timorese from West Timor, from other parts of Indonesia and from Australia. Over the last three months, more than 135,000 refugees have returned voluntarily in an organized or spontaneous way to East Timor,
Total returns by land
To date, IOM has returned 38,769 East Timorese by land from West Timor.
Total returns by sea
To date, IOM has returned 32,621 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.
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