Subject: Lusa: Militia Delegation to Test Repatriation Safety in Visit

East Timor: Militia Delegation to Test Repatriation Safety in Visit 4 Aug-14:19

About a dozen former Indonesian army militiamen are expected to visit East Timor next week in what has been billed as a "come and see" test of whether it is safe to return home with their families from West Timor.

UN administration spokeswoman Barbara Reis said in Dili Friday that the group, representing thousands of refugees, had expressed "a great desire" to be repatriated in recent talks with UN and East Timorese officials in Kupang, capital of Indonesian West Timor.

The group of between 10 and 12 men are former members of Indonesian army support groups, known as Milsas, she said, adding that they were not thought to have actively participated in the anti- independence rampage last year.

The Milsas delegation was to visit the eastern area of Lospalos, where officials were preparing the local population to receive them peacefully, Reis said.

Some 2,600 Milsas members, most of them peasant farmers, fled to West Timor after last year's independence plebiscite, accompanied by between 20,000 and 30,000 relatives.

SAS -Lusa

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