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DATE=11/9/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=UNHCR / TIMOR (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-255968 BYLINE=LISA SCHLEIN DATELINE=GENEVA CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: The U-N Refugee Agency says it is gravely concerned by the continued harassment and intimidation of aid workers and East Timorese refugees by militiamen in West Timor. Lisa Schlein in Geneva reports the Agency says the militias are trying to prevent thousands of refugees from returning to their homes in East Timor. TEXT: The U-N Refugee Agency says there has been a series of incidents in which militiamen in the Kupang and Atambua regions in West Timor harassed relief workers and refugees trying to return. At least 18 such incidents were reported in the border town of Atambua. U-N-H-C-R spokesman, Kris Janowski, says the militiamen have resorted to various forms of intimidation. The tactics include physical attacks, stoning vehicles, shooting guns in the air, and verbal abuse. He says the Refugee Agency has sent a message to Indonesia's Foreign Minister expressing its grave concern and informing the Minister that the perpetrators of the incidents have not been punished. /// JANOWSKI ACT /// Essentially, our message to the Indonesian government is that this is a new government, which is trying to launch new policies in many ways, and we expect this (Indonesian) government also to introduce a new policy on West Timor, and essentially reign in the militias and enable all these East Timorese who want to go back, to go back. /// END ACT /// The United Nations estimates more than 50-thousand refugees have returned to East Timor. This includes nearly 18-thousand who have returned without U-N assistance. Mr. Janowski says these returns have been relatively easy because these refugees have been hosted by people who have no objection to their leaving West Timor. He says aid workers are now picking up people who are staying in camps controlled by the militias. He says it is becoming increasingly risky for aid workers. /// 2ND JANOWSKI ACT /// In the letter to the Indonesians, we are saying that we are ready to continue our work in West Timor, but the risks that our staff is exposed to have to be reasonable. And, the multitude of incidents over the past few days indicate that we are getting close to the line on whether it's reasonable or not. /// END ACT /// More than 200-thousand refugees are living in squalid camps in West Timor. They either fled or were forcibly deported from East Timor by militias and Indonesian soldiers in the violent aftermath of the August 30th pro-independence referendum. (SIGNED) NEB/LS/GE/LTD/RAE 09-Nov-1999 09:17 AM EDT (09-Nov-1999 1417 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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