|Subject: E.Timor recovery due to
"rapid and generous" donor response: Annan
East Timor recovery on track thanks to "rapid and generous" donor response: Annan
United Nations, 8 November, 2000 -- East Timor has recovered from the destruction of last September's post-referendum violence thanks to the "rapid and generous" donor response towards meeting the needs of the population, according to a just released report by Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
"With these resources, the humanitarian community was able to provide the necessary assistance at an early enough stage to prevent the deterioration of the physical condition of the beneficiary population," the Secretary-General writes in his report to the General Assembly, adding that the "resilience and determination of the East Timorese people" helped militate against the creation of a dependency cycle.
The acknowledgement by relief partners that the focus must be on meeting both humanitarian and rehabilitation needs was also important for the transition from relief to development, the report states.
Mr. Annan predicts that the engagement of the international community in East Timor will be required "for the foreseeable future in all sectors" to ensure that the ongoing programmes are maintained, paving the way to self-reliance and sustainable development.
On the subject of the over 100,000 East Timorese refugees in West Timor, the Secretary-General says that alternative means of resettlement must be found since "it must be accepted that much of the remaining caseload will never return" to East Timor. "Recent clashes between the local population and refugees are indications of the current strain in intercommunal relations, which will likely deteriorate further and result in renewed violence unless decisive action is taken by the Indonesian authorities," he writes.
The Secretary-General's report covers developments since October 1999, when the Security Council established the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) to administer the territory and exercise legislative and executive authority during its transition towards independence.
In other news, the captured weapon of Private Leonard Manning - the New Zealand peacekeeper killed by militia on 24 July - was returned today to UNTAET's peacekeeping force after having been retrieved by the Indonesian Army near Laktatus, on the border with East Timor on 27 October. Acting Force Commander Major-General Mike Smith later thanked the Indonesian army for their efforts to retrieve the weapon, noting that "it had been the expressed wish of Private Manning's family that his weapon be returned and not used to kill or injure anyone else."
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