Presence in Baucau as MSF extends operations
30 September 1999
East Timor - The MSF staff contingent remains at eleven for the time being. Three are now stationed in Baucau. They arrived yesterday, travelling under military escort, equipped with one vehicle and basic supplies. An assessment in the city and district will begin today. MSF consultations continue in the Stadium in Dili. The MSF team has also moved into its own residence in Dili. Over the past week, they have been obliged to remain in temporary facilities while security was increased in the city.
The United Nations has suspended food drops to East Timor as some of the food was making the East Timorese sick. Also, the dangers of airdrops has been raised. Many of the containers were smashing on impact. One airdropped parcel had landed on a three-year old boy. As a result, one of his legs had to be amputated.
Political development in East Timor has seen Indonesian General Wiranto give tacit support for an inquiry into human rights abuses in East Timor. Indonesia has also agreed that the U.N. start civil administration in East Timor. However Indonesia will not formally relinquish control until the Jakarta parliament ratifies the vote for independence.
According to the U.N., their administration will be focusing on developing basic requirements starting with housing, then electricity and sanitation.
Estimates are of over 60,000 people had taken refuge in the countryside surrounding Dare. Up to one quarter of these have returned home.