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Timor: Tuapukan incident prompts repatriation rethink

Briefing notes

Timor: Tuapukan incident prompts repatriation rethink

4 February 2000

UNHCR is reviewing its repatriation programme for East Timorese refugees at Tuapukan camp outside Kupang in West Timor. This follows an incident on Thursday in which militiamen forced out several families from a repatriation convoy at Tuapukan. The convoy was to transport 68 refugees out of Tuapakan for repatriation to East Timor. No injuries were reported. The incident in Tuapukan is the latest in a series of harassment of UNHCR staff and returnees. Last week, militiamen attacked two journalists and disrupted a visit by the UN administrator in East Timor. Around 135,000 refugees have returned to East Timor but since mid-December, the number of returnees has dropped substantially.