Subject: W. Timor Villagers Protest, Want E Timor Refugees Out

Associated Press July 3, 2000

Indonesian Villagers Protest, Want E Timor Refugees Out

KUPANG, Indonesia (AP)--Angry over a spate of recent attacks, hundreds of villagers blockaded a road in Indonesian-controlled West Timor demanding that thousands of East Timorese refugees be sent home.

Armed with bows and arrows and other traditional weapons, angry villagers set up road blocks near refugee camps around the town of Kupang, capital of Indonesian-held West Timor, said Col. John Lallo, a local military commander.

He said the villagers accused the refugees - many of them pro-Indonesian militiamen who went on a rampage last September after the majority of East Timorese voted for independence - of attacking them and inciting violence.

More than 250,000 East Timorese were forced out of East Timor after violence broke out last year. About 150,000 of them have already returned to their half-island homeland, which borders West Timor.

U.N. relief agencies also recently suspended operations in three camps after refugees and militia members attacked several U.N. vehicles and threatened staff.


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