Created: 9/15/1999

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Security Delaying Aid Deliveries lo East Timor

Analytic Perspective

Tbe UN High Commissioner foe Refugees is prepared to enter Eastwith relief supplies

not until security cortditkms lmproverrTomregranon rairraas nave lorced nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and allkeleton group of UNAMET to evacuate, and militias continue to threaten UN and relief personnel.

Even if the UN and other relief workers this week gain access toeople affected in Dili, Indonesian military or the militias may try to deny or limit foreign access toeedy in the mountains between Dili and Suai.

Aid waiting to stabilize ihe humanitarian condition in East Timor includes

a ship in coastal waters ready toons of rice in DiliN World Food Program shipment ofons of rice in transit to Dili Over the past few years, the UNand NGOs have provided food aid to children under age five and expectant and lactating women in East Timor.

Hundreds of people have been lolled and as manyave been displaced, ofre in immediate need of assistance, according to UNAMET and press reports. Proiniegration militias, strongest in the mountainous area south and southwest of Dili, are still forcing proindependence East Timorese out of their villages, exacerbating the lean season when usual food supplies are low and people sustain themselves by eating roots, tubers, and coconuts.

lower level of violence on the eastern end of the island has resulted in less displacement and less destitution amongesidentsr

Even if international peacekeepers deploy to East Timor, insecurity will continue to affect foreign relief operations in western Timor. Jakarta is helping meet die humanitarian food and shelter needs of many ofisplaced in western Timor and bas announced plans toons of rice. Most of the displaced from East Timor who were shipped or flown to Kupang and to otheragainst independence, according to press reports and relief workers.

and water are available for0 displaced in Atambua, according to US AID officials, but Red Cross workers are concerned about militia harassment of proindepeodeoce supporters in the i

of East Timor's Volatile Ethnic Mix


East Timor's patchwork of mutually hostile ethnic groups makes it unlikely the UN presence can quickly end local conflicts. UN personnel willopulace scarred by displacement and by heavy loss of life from attempts to gain independence that began0ebellion against the Portuguese.

Known and suspected pro-lakartn sympathizers will be iherevenge

Before, the colonial era. East Timor wax divided Into many small kingdoms whose clan-based hamlets were led by hereditary rulers. Two ethnic groupsAtom in Ihe mountainous center of the island and Westthe Belu, whose scattered subgroups share the lingua franca ofTetum.

None of the political structure that existed before the Indonesian invasion5 is intact, and the Indonesian Administrative structure is discreditedmoresc eyes. UN personnel may be faced with an administrative vacuum along with jockeying for power among remaining urban elites, including mixed-race families and Cresccndanta of PtsrWJrucsjc oauoQaJs deported to the island, who remain influential.

Indonesian Migrants Fuel Fire)

East tirnoreserofound resentment of Indonesia's government-sponsored and spontaneous migration that substantially increased the island's population and changed its ethnic composition. According to academic studies,6 as many asercent of the population was non-Timorese.

Ethnic clashes erupted in the past three years as Timoreseof deliberately using migrants lo overwhelm them andthe economy.

The number of Indonesian migrants who have fled is not known, but those who lemain will continue tooint of contention. East Timorese, including vocal overseas groups, may demand that the UN establish border controls or undertake more extreme measures such as population transfers to remove Indonesian migrants.


i^ajQi);Ethnic Groups


East Timor

Timor Tlmur

{East Timor}


Kupang *

Tenee ara Tirrair

Catholicism as Pillar and Target

The Catholic Churchillar in the social structure of East Timor because of its role as sanctuary and symbolon-Indonesian cultural identity.esult, pro-Jakarta nulinas will target Church personnel and propertyN presence J

Original document.

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