Subject: Up to 2,000 kidnapped Timorese children held in Indonesia: UN

Up to 2,000 kidnapped Timorese children held in Indonesia: UN

UNITED NATIONS, Jan 25 (AFP) - Between 1,200 and 2,000 children kidnapped in East Timor are being held in different parts of Indonesia, the United Nations said in a report released Friday.

Many of the children had been "taken from their parents or guardians in the (refugee) camps under duress," the report said, quoting the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET).

East Timor has been under UN administration since October 1999, after its people voted four-to-one for independence from Indonesia in a referendum which sparked an orgy of killings and abductions by Indonesian-backed militias.

The report, signed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, recalled that "thousands of women and children were forcibly deported" to West Timor and that between 60,000 and 80,000 people were estimated to be still unable to return.

The report was sent to the Commission on the Status of Women, a subsidiary of the UN Economic and Social Council which had asked Annan for an update on the conditions of women and children taken hostage during armed conflicts.

The only government which provided figures quoted in the report was Uganda, which said that 11,110 children had been abducted since the start of an insurgency there in the late 1980s. It said 5,700 children had been resettled with their families, but 5,923 others had not yet been rescued.

Other details in the report came from the UN peacekeeping missions in Sierra Leone, Kosovo, Georgia and in the Middle East, as well as East Timor.

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