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DATE=12/7/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=U-N / TIMOR (L ONLY) NUMBER=2-256931 BYLINE=LISA SCHLEIN DATELINE=GENEVA CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: United Nations and private aid agencies have sent a 41-member medical team to a refugee camp in West Timor to deal with a reported upsurge in disease among the East Timorese refugees. Lisa Schlein in Geneva reports local authorities estimate more than 170 people have died in the camp since September. TEXT: U-N and private aid agencies say they are worried the death toll could rise as conditions get worse in the overcrowded refugee camps in West Timor. Aid workers call the conditions appalling. They say half of the 192 latrines in the Tua Pukan camp are not working. They say water sources are contaminated and the water being delivered by trucks is not treated to make it safe for drinking. They say the weakest people, mainly young children and the elderly, are dying from disease. Young children, in particular, are suffering from diarrhea and malaria. U-N refugee agency spokesman Kris Janowski says four children under five died on Monday at Tua Pukan. /// JANOWSKI ACT /// While U-N-H-C-R's main focus in West Timor is repatriation, we are concerned by the appalling conditions at the Tua Pukan camp. There are also a number of makeshift camps in West Timor and we are afraid with the onset of the rainy season, conditions there will worsen and become similar to Tua Pukan. /// END ACT /// The U-N refugee agency has only limited access to the Tua Pukan refugee camp, and no access to any of the other camps. Mr. Janowski says the agency is afraid conditions in these off-limit camps may even be worse than in Tua Pukan. Mr. Janowski says pro-Indonesian militias are continuing to intimidate and harass the refugees. But, he says one positive development in the security situation is the agreement in principle by Indonesian military authorities to separate the militias in the camps from the refugees. /// JANOWSKI ACT /// In our meetings locally in Kupang, the local military and provincial officials have offered a facility to shelter the militias and their families and basically separate them from the remaining refugee population. First, it remains to be seen whether this actually will happen. /// END ACT /// Mr. Janowski says the director of the agency's Asia bureau is in West Timor discussing the security problems with local officials. He says repatriation efforts continue to be hampered by the militias. He says many refugees fear going back to East Timor because of intimidation by militia thugs. On Tuesday, the agency reports only 314 Timorese returned home from the militia-controlled camps. So far, more than 110-thousand Timorese have gone back. Another 140-thousand remain in West Timor and other parts of Indonesia. (Signed) NEB/LS/JWH/ENE/JP 07-Dec-1999 12:24 PM EDT (07-Dec-1999 1724 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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