Military



DATE=8/4/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=U-N / TIMOR (L ONLY) NUMBER=2-265140 BYLINE=LISA SCHLEIN DATELINE=GENEVA CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: The United Nations has suspended the repatriation of East Timorese refugees from West Timor because of continued militia attacks against the refugees and aid workers. Lisa Schlein reports from Geneva. TEXT: The International Organization for Migration (I-O-M) transports East Timorese refugees home under the United Nations repatriation program. But the agency has been forced to suspend the operation because of increasing security concerns. I-O-M spokesman Jean-Philippe Chauzy says some staff members have received death threats and the militias have intimidated and harassed refugees who were signing up to go home. Mr. Chauzy says the United Nations will assess the situation Wednesday in hopes of re-starting the program. But he says the agency still is demanding that Indonesian authorities come up with the necessary security guarantees. /// CHAUZY ACT /// We're just getting sick and tired of this problem and we do not have our personnel in West Timor to be threatened by militias. On Wednesday, grenades were basically waived in front of our personnel, saying next time you come we promise these grenades will be thrown in your trucks. We don't want that to happen and we don't want to take the risk either for the returnees or for our personnel or any other international personnel present in West Timor. /// END ACT /// The United Nations refugee agency (U-N-H-C-R) says tensions remain high in the camps for East Timorese refugees. It says fighting broke out Friday among refugees in a camp outside the West Timorese capital, Kupang, forcing aid workers to stop food distribution and to leave. U-N-H-C-R spokesman Ron Redmond says the problems have forced the agency into what he calls a cooling-off period. He says the United Nations has scaled down its activities in the camps, but food distribution and other essential assistance is continuing. Mr. Redmond says the refugee agency is concerned about reports that Indonesian authorities want to close down the camps. /// REDMOND ACT /// Something's got to be done for these people. There are still over 100-thousand people who require assistance. So U-N-H-C-R is trying to get information on that. But, the situation remains for us, for I-O-M, for our other partners that are trying to find a durable solution for these people -- the separation of militia members, particularly from the camp populations has got to be carried out. /// END ACT /// Otherwise, Mr. Redmond says, aid workers will not be able to effectively carry out their work in the refugee camps and will not be able to help the East Timorese to return home. (Signed) NEB/LS/JWH/JP 04-Aug-2000 09:41 AM LOC (04-Aug-2000 1341 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





NEWSLETTER
Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list