Subject: IOM: Reintegration of Combatants

International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Date: 12 Dec 2000

IOM Press Briefing Notes: Timor, Somaliland, Zambia/Angola


by Thomas Weiss, IOM Spokesperson

East Timor - Reintegration of Combatants

IOM has launched the first step towards reintegrating East Timor's Falintil independence army into civil society with a survey of 1,600 Falintil soldiers designed to assess their current situation and future needs.

The US$ 108,000 project, which will be funded by USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) through Development Alternatives Inc., will create a database of bio-data covering the soldiers, their level of education, skills, health, economic and family circumstances. The database will form the basis of a broader future Falintil Reinsertion Assistance Programme (FRAP) currently under discussion. Of the 1,600 soldiers surveyed, some 1,050 are likely to be demobilised from the force and reintegrated into civilian life. The remaining 550 will form the core of a future East Timor defence force.

IOM's prior experience in the reinsertion and reintegration of former combatants is extensive and includes successful demobilisation projects in Africa, the Balkans and Central America.

Falintil is the military wing of the Fretilin, the Frente Revolucionario Timor Leste Independente, which briefly formed East Timor's first independent government between the withdrawal of the Portuguese colonial government and the Indonesian invasion in 1975.

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