UNHCR to look after tens of thousands of displaced people in Timor
UNHCR is deploying staff in East and West Timor at the request of the Indonesian government which faces a growing wave of displacement on the island. An estimated 45-60,000 persons have been displaced in East Timor where anti-independence militias have been intimidating sympathizers of the pro-independence movement since early May when the UN, Indonesia and Portugal agreed on a referendum on East Timor's future.
At the same time, up to 10,000 opponents of East Timor's independence (mostly immigrants from other parts of Indonesia) have fled to West Timor, the future of which will not be subject to an independence referendum. The displaced persons on both sides lack adequate food, medical care, shelter and protection. UNHCR's emergency programme in Timor will initially run for six months.