5 hours ago
KUPANG, Indonesia (AFP) — International aid agencies have evacuated staff from Indonesia's West Timor after violent demonstrations by ex-East Timorese refugees continued for a fifth day, social workers said on Saturday.
Thousands of refugees in Atambua, near the border with East Timor, have since Tuesday been protesting for financial help from Indonesian officials, and said they will seize foreign aid workers if their demands are not met.
Matheus Guedes, a demonstration organiser, said activists would "take hostage (local government) officials" unless they give 80 billion rupiah (8.72 million dollars) of aid to around 16,400 ex-East Timorese refugees.
Staff at the World Food Programme office were evacuated by police on Friday after protesters tried to ransack the building. Five demonstrators were injured in the violence.
Guedes said they will continue their protest until their demands are met.
International organisations began leaving Atambua on Wednesday after violence escalated in the town.
"We have evacuated four of our staff to Kupang since Thursday," a local Oxfam project manager John Takerting told AFP.
Care International said 22 of its staff, including several foreign nationals, had also left the town, a worker with the group said, declining to give his name in fear of his safety.
The demonstrators are among thousands of people who fled to West Timor after the outbreak of deadly violence during East Timor's vote for independence from Indonesia in 1999.
A local parliament member Yoseph Manggo told Antara state news agency that authorities had stopped handing out aid to the refugees in 2006.
"Since then, we have not used the term 'refugees'. That is why their demand on social aid does not make sense because that fund does not exist anymore," he said.
sábado, abril 05, 2008
5 hours ago
Por Malai Azul 2 à(s) 23:45
Obrigado pela solidariedade, Margarida!
Mensagem inicial - 16 de Maio de 2006
"Apesar de frágil, Timor-Leste é uma jovem democracia em que acreditamos. É o país que escolhemos para viver e trabalhar. Desde dia 28 de Abril muito se tem dito sobre a situação em Timor-Leste. Boatos, rumores, alertas, declarações de países estrangeiros, inocentes ou não, têm servido para transmitir um clima de conflito e insegurança que não corresponde ao que vivemos. Vamos tentar transmitir o que se passa aqui. Não o que ouvimos dizer... "