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DATE=10/6/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=EAST TIMOR - BISHOP RETURNS (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-254702 BYLINE=PATRICIA NUNAN DATELINE=JAKARTA CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: East Timorese spiritual leader and Nobel Laureate Bishop Carlos Belo has returned to East Timor, a month after fleeing violence by anti- independence militia groups. As Patricia Nunan reports, the Bishop is the highest-profile East Timorese leader to return since the militias virtually took over East Timor. TEXT: East Timorese spiritual leader Bishop Carlos Belo says his priority is to be among the East Timorese people. He appealed to the international community to do more to bring peace to East Timor, so that refugees who have fled into the jungle can return home. The Bishop arrived in the East Timorese capital Dili from the northern Australian city of Darwin. There he was greeted by several members of the clergy and the United Nations spokesman for East Timor. The Bishop's stop in the capital was brief. He was taken to a nearby heliport and flew directly to East Timor's second city Baucau, to meet with other church leaders. Bishop Belo is the highest profile figure to return to East Timor since anti-independence militia groups backed by the Indonesian military overran the territory last month. The militias were reacting to an announcement by the United Nations that most East Timorese had voted for the territory to break free of Indonesian rule, in a UN-supervised referendum held in August. Estimates of the number of dead range from the hundreds to the thousands. Roughly 300 thousand people fled their homes or were forced to leave by the Indonesian military. Bishop Belo is the co-winner of the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize for his work to prevent the oppression of the East Timorese people by the Indonesian military. Indonesia invaded East Timor in 1975. Besides his international standing, the Bishop is one of the most widely-respected individuals in the predominantly Catholic East Timor. The Bishop's home in the capital was one of the first buildings to be targeted and destroyed by the militias. Bishop Belo was evacuated from the capital in a U-N helicopter to Baucau. From there he was forced to flee to Australia. Bishop Belo says he believes he could have been killed in militia violence last month. But upon his return the Bishop was defiant -- saying he is not afraid to show to the world he is alive -- and he is back in East Timor. NEB/PN/FC/PLM 06-Oct-1999 00:31 AM EDT (06-Oct-1999 0431 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .

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