11 October 2008

East Timor Government Dialogue Teams working to support peaceful reintegration of IDP's

MINISTRY OF SOCIAL SOLIDARITY PRESS RELEASE 9 October 2008 MSS/UNDP Dialogue Teams working hard to support peaceful reintegration of IDPs

Since July 2008 there have been MSS/UNDP dialogue teams working in each of the five sub-districts of Dili with a central coordination team based in the Ministry of Social Solidarity. In October 2008 two regional dialogue teams also started working in Baucau and Ermera.

The MSS/UNDP dialogue teams have been strenuously promoting dialogue as a means to addressing community conflict and have also been heavily engaged in supporting mediation in support of IDP reintegration and return. The MSS/UNDP dialogue teams have been working with Chefe Aldeias, Chefe Sucos and youth representatives in the receiving communities to try to ensure that the situation in areas of return remains peaceful.

The MSS/UNDP dialogue teams have helped organize preparatory meetings at camps to support the return of IDPs. The teams work closely with SLS (Site Liaison Support) agencies in the camps to pre-identify groups willing to return and prioritise cases requiring third-party support (such as secondary occupancy, land and property issues, broader tensions with the community).

Working alongside local authorities, youth representatives, and partner agencies (such as IOM, CRS, CARE, Austcare, and Belun), the MSS/UNDP dialogue teams have organized 10 dialogue meetings to support IDP reintegration in Cristo Rei, Metinaro, and Vera Cruz, and sucos Becora, Fatuhada, and Camea.

The demand for supporting intra-family dispute resolution was clear from the inception of the dialogue teams. Members of the dialogue teams have supported the resolution of over 150 mediations between families wishing to return and families either opposed to their return or occupying their former homes. 56 of these cases have been resolved amicably between the parties with dialogue staff playing a facilitation role. 94 cases have required negotiated settlement with the parties formalising their agreement in the form of an accord. The dialogue teams are still working with partner agencies to try and resolve six pending cases.

The MSS/UNDP Dialogue Teams are an integral part of the Hamutuk Hari’i Konfiansa pillar of the Hamutuk Hari’i Futuru National Recovery Strategy. The majority of funding for the teams was provided by AusAID, through a AUD $1.5 million grant provided to support peace building activities in Timor-Leste. A significant amount of funding has also been provided by NZAID. The teams work closely with local authorities to promote dialogue to help alleviate the concerns of IDPs moving from the camps and those who are living in the receiving communities, as well as to avoid and mitigate potential conflicts. The dialogue teams also work closely with partner agencies, such as IOM, CRS, CARE, Austcare, Belun, CJP and JRS. The MSS/UNDP Dialogue Teams encourage communities affected by conflict to talk to one another in order to resolve their differences amicably which will hopefully set the stage for a process of national reconstruction and recovery.

The teams have been created to help you. If you are facing difficulty in being accepted back into your community or if you are a member of a community that is experiencing tension or difficulties because of returning IDPs please the dialogue teams who will do their best to help. You can contact the MSS/UNDP dialogue teams on: 7298799 or 731 8477 or by visiting the dialogue teams at MSS or at each of the Dili sub-district offices, the Baucau MSS office, or the Ermera District Administrator’s office.

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