Close sites icon close
Search form

Search for the country site.

Country profile

Country website

Timor: High Commissioner meets Defence Minister

Briefing notes

Timor: High Commissioner meets Defence Minister

21 September 1999

The High Commissioner today met with the Defence Minister and Armed Forces Chief of Indonesia, General Wiranto, on the third and final day of her visit in Jakarta.

On Monday, Mrs. Ogata met with Indonesian President B.J. Habibie for an hour and a half. The High Commissioner received assurances from the Indonesian president and other top officials she met during her visit that UNHCR staff will have security and unimpeded access to all the people in need of assistance. It remains to be seen how the commitments given in Jakarta translate on the ground, particularly in West Timor.

UNHCR tomorrow will take part in a three to four-day humanitarian mission to West Timor composed of NGOs and Indonesian Welfare Ministry officials to draw up an operational plan for West Timor.

During a brief visit, arranged by local officials, to West Timor on Sunday, Mrs. Ogata saw two makeshift camps for displaced people from East Timor in the border town of Atambua and a sports stadium in the provincial capital, Kupang.

The camps were overcrowded and lacked food, medicine, drinking water and sanitation facilities. The landscape is dry and the priority will be the provision of water.

Three UNHCR staff members flew into Dili in East Timor last Friday to look into warehousing and overland transport of assistance. Aid activities will start as soon as the deployment of the multinational force in East Timor is completed.

UNHCR has been building up relief supplies in Darwin, Australia, for 100,000 beneficiaries in East Timor. Relief aid for 100,000 beneficiaries in West Timor is being procured locally in Indonesia.

Our colleagues in Dili said the town was heavily destroyed as the militias used the last 48 hours before the arrival of the first peace-keepers to loot what was still left and destroy what still stood.