World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

UN Agency Ends Work In West Timor

After Repatriating 225,000 To Timor-Leste, UN Agency Ends Work In West Timor

After helping the voluntary repatriation of 225,000 people who fled to West Timor to escape the violence after the 1999 referendum on independence for East Timor, the United Nations refugee agency is scheduled to finish six-years of humanitarian operations in the Indonesian half of the island on December 31.

“The focus of our efforts there was finding long-term solutions for [the] refugees,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) spokesman Ron Redmond told a news briefing in Geneva today. “That work has now been completed.”

During the violence an estimated quarter of a million people fled East Timor. A similar number were internally displaced and sought refuge in the forests and mountains. During the initial phase of displacement, UNHCR provided emergency assistance in the form of shelter and other relief items.

Beyond the voluntary repatriation of the 225,000 refugees, mostly in organized convoys to now independent Timor-Leste, UNHCR also assisted with the local integration of some 28,000 people who chose to confirm their Indonesian citizenship and remain in West Timor.

“UNHCR's operations in West Timor will always be remembered by us for the shocking and brutal killings of three of our staff members during riots in Atambua, in Belu District, on 6 September 2000,” Mr. Redmond said. As a result, we halted our operations and evacuated all staff from West Timor.”

The agency only resumed operations in early 2002 after working closely with Indonesian security authorities and provincial and district governments in West Timor.

One challenging issue resolved in late 2004 was the situation of some 4,500 East Timorese children who had become separated from their families during the events of 1999. Most were reunited with their parents, while some continued their stay with care-givers, mostly in Indonesia for educational reasons, but with their parents’ agreement.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

APEC : Leaders Issue Kuala Lumpur Declaration

The leaders of the 21 APEC member economies issued the Kuala Lumpur Declaration following the first-ever virtual 27th APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting chaired by Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin. Convening for the first time since the ... More>>

UN: Refugee Resettlement Numbers Fall To Lowest In Two Decades

Refugee resettlement numbers will be at a “record low” this year, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Wednesday, with only 15,425 people resettled in the first nine months of 2020, compared to more than 50,000 in 2019. In 2016, resettlement ... More>>

G20: Global Co-Operation And Strong Policy Action Needed For A Sustainable Recovery

The COVID-19 crisis has exposed major weaknesses in our economies that can only be fixed through greater global co-operation and strong, targeted policy action, according to a new OECD report presented to the Leaders of the G20 countries at their ... More>>

OECD: GDP Rebounded By 9.0% In The Third Quarter Of 2020 But Remains Below Pre-Pandemic High

Following the unprecedented falls in real gross domestic product (GDP) in the first half of the year in the wake of COVID-19 containment measures, GDP in the OECD area rebounded by 9.0% in the third quarter of 2020 but it remains 4.3% below its pre-crisis ... More>>