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Timor Activity Update: 29 Feb 2000

Situation Report
Originally published
There is a continuing need to return displaced people 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 people is the responsibility of IOM by agreement and in close co-operation with UNHCR.

Over the last four days, IOM has helped some 650 displaced East Timorese to return home from West Timor.

Tuesday 29 February, an IOM land convoy repatriated 242 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. Secondary movements from Dili included: 129 persons to Aileu, 50 people to Atsabe, 10 persons to Maubisse, 4 people to Ainaro, 3 people to Liquica and 12 persons to Manatutu.

Monday 28 February, IOM transported 312 people from the Atambua camps to Batugade. Secondary movements from Dili included 121 people to Ermera and 7 people to the eastern city of Viqueque.

Saturday, 26 February 60 people arrived in Dili from Sydney aboard two IOM-chartered flights. In line with IOM's mandate, all the passengers returned on a voluntary basis. Secondary movements from Dili included 36 people to Hatolia, 36 people to Turiscai and 18 people to Baucau. On Saturday the Batugade-Motaain border was closed, after the IOM-facilitated family reunions, that had been held the previous four weeks, had to be suspended due to security concerns and threats of a militia show of force. There is currently no indication as to when the events will be resumed.


As of February 29, IOM and UNHCR have organised the return by land, sea and air of 96,205 East Timorese from West Timor, from other parts of Indonesia and from Australia. The total number of returnees now stands at 144,082.

Total returns by land: 49,234 from West Timor.

Total returns by sea: 33,742 from West Timor and from other parts of Indonesia.

Total returns by air: 7,793 from Kupang to Dili, 3,937 from other parts of Indonesia, and 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.

Copyrights =A9 2000 International Organization for Migration. All rights reserved.

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