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TIMOR TODAY 24 February 2000

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a) Australian peacekeepers disembark from a Blackhawk helicopter in Balibo last year. The Indonesian government has accused Australia of illegally inserting special forces personal by helicopter and submarine before the referendum for independence, to monitor TNI and militia activities. (Pool/Reuters)


1) Australia denies making illegal flyovers 25/02/00 (Jakarta Post) JAKARTA (JP): Australia denied on Wednesday claims by the Indonesia government that its aircraft had illegally entered Indonesian airspace.

2) Australia, UN mission in East Timor sign $1.4 billion gas exploration accord 25/02/00 (UN Newservice) DILI - The United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), acting on behalf of the territory, signed today an agreement with the Government of Australia for a $1.4 billion gas exploitation plan in the Timor Gap.

3) Unresolved problems 25/02/00 (TAPOL) One major unresolved problem relates to the return of refugees from West Timor and other parts of Indonesia. I soon realised that part of the problem lies within East Timor. I met many East Timorese who had recently returned home from refugee camps in the interior of East Timor or in West Timor.

4) East Timor nationals among Portugal's peacekeepers 25/02/00 (Jane's Defence Weekly) DILI - A Portuguese Army unit has joined the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) peacekeeping force.

5) Interview with General Cosgrove 25/02/00 (Jane's Defence Weekly) According to Australian Army Maj Gen Peter Cosgrove, the cornerstone of success for the UN-sponsored International Force East Timor (INTERFET) in restoring security and peace to the former Indonesian province was the quality and complementary nature of the national contingents which he commanded.

6) Police called in to end East Timorese refugee blockade in Australia 25/02/00 (AAP) SYDNEY - At least 100 police officers were called in to disperse a blockade formed by East Timorese refugees refusing to leave Sydney's East Hills safe haven and return home.


7) ETAN opposes continued training in violation of ongoing ban on military ties with Indonesia. 25/02/00 (ETAN) The East Timor Action Network condemned continued training by the U.S. of Indonesian military officers as a violation of a Congressional ban on military ties with Indonesia.


8) Rebuilding East Timor at the local level 25/02/00 (World Bank) DILI, February 22, 2000 -World Bank President James D. Wolfensohn completed his first visit to East Timor yesterday and signed a grant agreement to support community based reconstruction

9) East Timorese refugees in Indonesia 25/02/00 (Refugees International) Nearly five months after an estimated 250,000 East Timorese fled, or were forcibly moved, to West Timor and other parts of Indonesia, Refugees International remains deeply concerned about their plight, especially the plight of those outside West Timor, and the continued disruption of repatriation operations by militia elements.

10) Situation in East/West Timor, sectarian violence elsewhere 24/02/00 (US Committee for Refugees) As the emergency phase of relief assistance to the island of Timor (both to devastated East Timor as well as to West Timor, which is still Indonesian territory and which still housing 110,000 refugees) has begun to wind down, many NGOs have begun tofocus on post-conflict rehabilitation through a variety of projects.


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