|East Timor||ARMY OBSTRUCTS HUMANITARIAN AID FOR REFUGEES|
The Indonesian army and militiamen controlling East Timor are preventing humanitarian aid from reaching some 44 thousand "internal" refugees on the island.
While the UN has set up a temporary base in the troubled territory to prepare for next month's referendum, at least 44,000 Timor citizens, forced out of their homes by a terror campaign, are held in concentration camps in various parts of the island.
According to Caritas East Timor, about 2500 are in Dili, 14,000 at Liquica, 12,000 in Maliana, 12,000 at Ermera, 3,000 at Suai and another 300 at Manufahi.
No one is allowed to see to their needs. A few doctors, made a brief visit for a few hours. While examining the people they were accused of being pro-independence activists and told to leave. Many of these internal displaced people are wounded or sick and in urgent need of medical treatment.
Sources from the Fides Catholic news agency report that the local Caritas office, the International Red Cross and UNICEF as well as some individual Catholic nuns are anxious to help. They have 4000 tonnes of rice, ready to be distributed and medicine supplies for 10 months but are denied access to the camps by the militia. A volunteer team of humanitarian aid in Jakarta sent a truck-load of rice but the goods were halted at Atambua in Flores.
Fides 12:15pm 18/6/99