A hundred and forty six Portuguese refugees from East Timor have flown in to Lisbon after spending 12 months in Indonesian refugee camps.
GV PAN: military aircraft carrying refugees.
SVs refugee families down aircraft steps. (3 shots)
SV: woman carrying sick child down aircraft steps and into ambulance.
SVS: refuges boarding airport bus. (2 shots)
The East Timor refugees join 600,000 people who have returned to Portugal from Mozambique and Angola since the former Portuguese colonies received independence. Because of high unemployment and the country's inflationary problems, portugal is finding it difficult to re-locate the refugees.
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Background: A hundred and forty six Portuguese refugees from East Timor have flown in to Lisbon after spending 12 months in Indonesian refugee camps.
SYNOPSIS: The refugees, arrived at Lisbon's military airport aboard a Portuguese Air Force plane. Many appeared weak and thin as they stepped off the aircraft which flew them from Bali.
Most of the arrivals were ethnic Timorese with Portuguese citizenship, who lost their homes when fighting broke out in East Timor last year between rival nationalist factions. Portugal still claims sovereignty over East Timor, but withdrew its troops from there a year ago when the fighting started. Last December Indonesia occupied the territory, and declared in part of Indonesia last month.
Among the refugees was a seriously ill four-year-old boy who was carried off the aircraft by a nurse, and taken immediately to hospital in a waiting ambulance. After they lost their homes, the refugees lived in camps in the Indonesian western half of Timor Island in the town of Atambua and nearby villages. Back in Portugal many told of hardships suffered in the camps and of severe food shortages. Some blamed the withdrawal of Portuguese troops for their plight. At least another 800 refugees are waiting in Indonesia to be repatriated to Portugal. Until they all get settled they will be cared for by a government agency.