More refugees, spurred by upcoming elections, returning to East Timor, UN says
To celebrate that milestone figure, UNTAET chief Sergio Vieira de Mello is scheduled to travel to the border town of Batugade tomorrow.
Many of today's returnees to Suai District told aid officials that they were eager to vote in East Timor's Presidential election on Sunday. "I have come back home to vote and live here since our country is now going to be independent," said Justina Soares Moniz, one of the returnees at the Suai Transit Centre.
Another returnee, Sofia Ana Moniz added, "I was listening to Radio UNTAET and I heard that my country was going to hold presidential elections to be followed by independence. I just had to come."
District Civil Registration officials have set up a mobile registration site at the Refugee Transit Centre in Suai to register the returnees so that those eligible will be able to vote on Sunday.
Since the start of April, more than 3,000 refugees have returned to East Timor. The large influx of refugees continues a trend begun last month, when nearly 4,000 came back - the highest monthly total in two years.