Subject: AFP: 26,000 Indonesians have fled East Timor
Date: Sat, 17 Apr 1999 08:42:02 -0400
From: "John M. Miller" <fbp@igc.apc.org>

Received from Joyo:

26,000 Indonesians flee East Timor

JAKARTA, April 13 (AFP) - Some 26,000 Indonesian settlers have fled East Timor since the government announced in January it would consider independence for the troubled territory, a report said Tuesday.

"Currently the number of people who have fled from East Timor across to East Nusa Tenggara (West Timor) has reached about 26,000 spread out in several sub-districts," NTT governor Piet Tallo was quoted as saying by Antara state news agency.

Tallo said 6,000 refugees were in Alor sub-district in West Timor, and identified other refugee points as the border sub-districts of Atambua and Belo.

Tallies of how many settlers, civil servants and traders had returned to their homes in other parts of Indonesia was not immediately available.

Since the January announcement, the level of violence in the former Portuguese colony, which was invaded by Indonesia in 1975, has risen and thousands of civil servants including teachers and doctors have demanded transfers out of East Timor.

On April 22, Indonesia is expected to present its autonomy plan to Portugal, which is still recognized by the United Nations and most countries as the official administrator of East Timor.

A ballot staged under UN auspices is tentatively set for July for the people of East Timor to chose between indeepndence or the broad autonomy plan.

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