Subject: UN Cuts Estimate Of Refugees Still In Indonesian W Timor

Associated Press March 15, 2001

UN Cuts Estimate Of Refugees Still In Indonesian W Timor

JAKARTA (AP)--The estimated number of East Timorese refugees still in camps in Indonesia has been reduced to about 50,000, a U.N. official said Thursday.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees' Indonesian director, Rene Van Rooyen, told journalists after meeting President Abdurrahman Wahid in Jakarta that the agency was ready to help resettle the remaining refugees within Indonesia.

He said the organization would still repatriate any of the individuals who wanted to return to East Timor.

More than 250,000 refugees fled East Timor amid a rampage by anti-independence militias following the U.N.-sponsored independence referendum in August 1999. About 100,000 - mostly supporters of union with Indonesia - were thought to still be in the camps.

The United Nations and other aid groups withdrew from West Timor last September after three U.N. foreign aid workers were slaughtered by an anti-independence militia mob in the town of Atambua.

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