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Images: West To East Timor Border Crossings

All photos by LAC Eve Welsh RNZAF

Popular East Timorese independence leader Xanana Gusmao greeted families returning to East Timor from the West last Wednesday along with members of the New Zealand Battalion group based at Suai. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees administered the crossings, recording a total of two hundred and fifty seven returnees. The families were assisted in their repatriation by New Zealand Peace Keepers in the facilities of Junction Point Foxtrot, the border position managed by New Zealanders.


Xanana Gusmao answers questions from the press after meeting with militia members currently living in West Timor.


Lieutenant Lauren Kavanagh of Christchurch meets two young girls with a turtle as they wait for a United Nations truck to take them and their possessions to a transit camp near Suai.


Having just returned to East Timor from the west, this man waits for the truck that will take him back to the village he hasn’t seen since 1999.


Corporal Niel Wagner of Palmerston North (left) and Corporal Stephen Denby of Colyton, were part of the team checking possessions for contraband items, before each family’s possessions were loaded onto trucks for the beginning of their journey home.


Corporal Chuck MacKay of Otaki, was part of the team checking possessions for contraband items, before each family’s possessions were loaded onto trucks for the beginning of their journey home.


Xanana Gusmao makes a point with Captain Michelle De Vries of Greymouth. Having been assigned the role of Public Information Officer only the day before, Captain De Vries did a great job helping manage the media at Junction Point Foxtrot, and was rewarded with a meeting with one of the most famous men in East Timor.


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