Asian Journal of Environment and Disaster Management (AJEDM)

Volume 5 Number 4 (2013)

doi: 10.3850/S1793924013000023

The Activity of Non-Government Organizations When Supporting Repatriation from West Timor to East Timor Mami

Mami Sato
Department of International Studies, Graduate School of Frontier Science, University of Tokyo, 5-1-1, Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa-shi, Chiba, 277-8563, Japan.


After the referendum of 1999 more than 250,000 individuals took refuge in Indonesia. Many of these people had either returned or resettled in other places with the support of the international agencies and the governments of Indonesia and East Timor. However, with 16,000 individuals remaining in former refugee campsites, including some whose desire was to return to East Timor, the refugees and repatriation activity were considered as an officially closed matter by both governments. This research will look into the activity of the working group in East Timor that supports the repatriation of former refugees from West Timor. The findings demonstrate that when an issue is recognized as closed by the government and international agencies, the network for information transfer and coordination amongst nongovernment organizations are important factors for the success of an initiative. In the case of repatriation, and especially in the case of East Timor, the presence and work of Catholic groups cannot be forgotten.

Keywords: Repatriation, Refugee, West Timor, East Timor, NGO, Catholic group.

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