Subject: Indonesia Security Min Calls For UN Return To West Timor

Associated Press December 21, 2000

Indonesia Security Min Calls For UN Return To West Timor

JAKARTA (AP)--Indonesia's top security minister called on the U.N. Thursday to return to West Timor to help East Timorese refugees go home.

Speaking to reporters after a Cabinet meeting, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said security in West Timor had significantly improved since three U.N. foreign aid workers were killed by a pro-Indonesian militia mob on Sept. 6.

The killings led to the evacuation of all aid workers from the territory.

There are still about 120,000 refugees in camps in West Timor. They were forced from their homes by pro-Jakarta militias last year after most East Timorese voted to break away from Indonesia in a U.N.-sponsored ballot.

U.N. senior humanitarian affairs officer Enayet Madani said West Timor was still considered a dangerous place. He said a U.N. security-evaluation team would visit the region in January and recommend if it was safe for aid workers to return.

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