Subject: Lusa: UNHCR Withdraws From Betun Camp in West Timor

East Timor: UNHCR Withdraws From Betun Camp in West Timor 21 Jul-18:26

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees announced Friday that it has withdrawn its personnel from the Betun refugee camp in Indonesian West Timor.

UNHCR spokesman Ron Redmond told media in Geneva that the decision followed violent incidents carried out by armed militias opposed to the repatriation of East Timorese refugees.

In one recent case, militiamen beat one refugee from East Timor and robbed several others, he said. A 70-strong Indonesian military detachment witnessed the incident but did not intervene.

The UNHCR's repatriation and assistance program for the 125,000 East Timorese refugees still in West Timor has thus been suspended.

The UN agency had on Thursday threatened to withdraw from the Indonesian half of Timor island if the Jakarta government does not put an end to the militia violence.

JBC -Lusa

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