Subject: KPos: E Timorese Soldiers to be repatriated

Source: Kupang Pos web site, Kupang, in Indonesian 15 Jul 02


Kupang,: Sixty-three army TNI - Tentara Nasional Indonesia - Indonesian National Military Forces members originally from East Timor who fled to West Timor in 1999 have finally chosen to return to East Timor. The TNI personnel who until now have been staying at the Tuapukan refugee camp in East Kupang Sub-District, Kupang District, will be repatriated next week.

Commander 161 Wirasakti Kupang Military Provincial Command, Col M Moesanip, informed Pos Kupang of this on Friday (12 July).

According to Military Provincial Commander Moesanip, the TNI personnel who have chosen to return home will be given compensation from the Indonesian government amounting to 15,000,000 rupiah per person.

The commander said TNI personnel electing to return home will be released officially by IX Udayana Military Area Commander Maj-Gen Willem T da Costa. "The TNI personnel who chose to return to East Timor will certainly be retrenched from TNI membership. The TNI values this decision of TNI personnel from East Timor who have chosen to return home. In recognition of their TNI service, the Indonesian government will give each person fifteen million rupiah in severance pay," said Moesanip.

He said that there are 1,400 TNI members from East Timor still in West Timor spread throughout the Belu district (600), Tuapukan and Naibonat in Kupang (400), and 200 in both North Central Timor and South Central Timor.

He said that not all TNI personnel were living in refugee camps but that many were living in local community accommodation and that they had clearly swiftly adapted to West Timorese local community conditions.

Moesanip said that the majority of East Timorese TNI personnel who were still living in the camps wanted to return home but they were still waiting on compensation from the government. According to the Commander, it would be quite appropriate if the 53,213bn rupiah in funds given by the Japanese government be allocated for compensation funds for the TNI personnel who had decided to return to East Timor.

The commander added that if a TNI member returned he would certainly be accompanied by dozens of family members...

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