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In 1999, JRS established a presence in East Timor and West Timor working to support refugees and facilitate their return.

East Timor, After referendum favoring independence was announced on September 4, 1999, army trucks with soldiers armed surrounding and blocking access to the harbor and the airport and started shooting indiscriminately. A normal life is changing into violence and fear. About 8,000 of people suddenly become refugee. Some crammed onto the bus emergency evacuate to Atambua.

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