Subject: UN and Indonesia agree on border demarcation plan

Received from Joyo Indonesian News

UN and Indonesia agree on border demarcation plan

JAKARTA, Feb 13 (AFP) - United Nations peacekeepers and the Indonesian armed forces have agreed on plans to survey and demarcate the border between Indonesian West Timor and East Timor.

The UN Transitional Administration in East Timor, in a statement obtained here Wednesday, said the agreement was reached during a meeting of the Tactical Coordination Working Group at Atambua in West Timor on Monday.

Dates for the survey are expected to be finalised within a few days.

The need for a border demarcation was agreed at a meeting between the UN and the Indonesian government in Jakarta in December.

The working group, which includes representatives of the peacekeeping forces and the Indonesian military, also discussed the establishment of a new Border Control Service post and ways to improve the repatriation of East Timorese refugees from camps in West Timor.

East Timor attains full independence on May 20 but an estimated 60,000-75,000 East Timorese refugees are still in Indonesian West Timor.

After the East Timorese on August 30, 1999, voted for independence from Indonesia, pro-Jakarta militias embarked on an orgy of violence.

As international peacekeeping troops began arriving, the militias either led or forced an estimated 250,000-270,000 people across the border into West Timor.

Some 193,000 of these have since returned.

The cash-strapped Indonesian government halted all relief aid to the refugees from the start of this year but has vowed to keep the camps in West Timor open.

The United Nations refugee agency says many of those still refusing to go back had once worked with the Indonesian military or other authorities in East Timor and fear the loss of pension or other rights if they go home.


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