Subject: AFP: UN refugee agency launches aid program for Timor
Date: Sun, 01 Aug 1999 11:18:13 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <>

Received from Joyo Indonesian News:

UN refugee agency launches aid program for Timor

GENEVA, July 27 (AFP) - The Indonesian government has asked the UN refugee agency to help some 60,000 refugees and displaced people on the island of Timor prior to an August vote on independence, the agency said Tuesday.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has sent four representatives to the island, three to East Timor where they will open a bureau in Dili, and one to the western part, spokesman Kris Janowsky said.

Of the 60,000 refugees or internally displaced people (IDP), 10,000 have sought refuge in western Timor, following clashes between those in favor of and those opposed to independence for the island.

"These people lack food, medicine, blankets, everything," Janowsky stressed, adding the UNHCR estimated 450,000 dollars (429,000 euros) were needed for the program.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on Monday asked Indonesian authorities to improve security conditions on Timor, where voters are to decide August 21 and 22 on their future.

The former Portugese colony, which Jakarta invaded in 1975 and annexed a year later, is to choose between independence and autonomy under Indonesian control.

The vote will be monitored by several hundred civilians and policemen acting under a UN mandate.

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