Subject: JP: E. Timor refugees to be reregistered

July 15, 2003

E. Timor refugees to be reregistered

KUPANG, East Nusa Tenggara: The Ministry of Home Affairs will reregister East Timorese refugees in West Timor next month due to conflicting reports on their number.

East Nusa Tenggara's refugee task force and relevant government offices recently submitted numbers that differ from Central Statistics Agency (BPS) records.

Djidon de Haan, assistant to the provincial administration secretary, said the ministry, in cooperation with the local government, would reregister the refugees.

The results would be compared with the BPS data, he said in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara.

"Accurate data will enable the central government to adopt a policy of dealing with the refugees in the future."

Djidon said that under international law the refugees were not yet recognized as Indonesian citizens, although around 28,000 had resettled in Indonesia.

"Under such conditions, the refugees will most likely not be allowed to vote in the 2004 general elections as their Indonesian citizenship depends on the recognition of the UN High Commission for Refugees." --JP

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