Subject: Lusa: Jakarta to Move Militias from Border - Foreign Minister

East Timor: Jakarta to Move Militias from Border, Foreign Minister Says 15 Jun-12:03

Indonesia plans to move nearly 2,000 anti-independence militiamen away from the border with East Timor to lessen tensions in the area and facilitate the repatriation of refugees, Jakarta's foreign minister has announced. Alwi Shihab, speaking Wednesday after a meeting with European Union counterparts in Luxembourg, said "1,730 ex-soldiers, or militiamen, as they are called," would be moved with their families to a point 20 kms into West Timor. The transfer, "to take place as quickly as possible," would involve some 10,000 people, he said, adding that Jakarta counted on a "positive contribution" from the EU to carry out the relocation. The initiative, Shihab said, was "a good sign" for the "relocation" of what he estimated were 60 percent of the refugees who wanted to remain in Indonesia and "40 percent who will return to East Timor." More than 100,000 East Timorese refugees and deportees are estimated to remain in West Timor, of a total of some 250,000 forced to flee in militia violence last year.

SAS -Lusa-

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