Subject: JP: IOM extends stay in NTT 

July 15, 2004

IOM extends stay in NTT

KUPANG, East Nusa Tenggara: The International Organization for Migration (IOM), a United Nations body that has been helping to repatriate East Timorese refugees in West Timor since 1999, has decided to extend its work in East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) province.

In a letter to the NTT governor dated June 29, an official with the IOM in Jakarta, John Stephen, said the IOM would continue its work repatriating East Timorese refugees until the end of this year. Earlier, it had planned to shut down its operation in the NTT in June.

UN bodies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have repatriated 250,000 out of a total of 295,000 East Timorese refugees in West Timor to their country of origin since 1999, when the tiny country seceded from Indonesia. The remaining refugees are still living in camps in West Timor. -- JP

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