15 January 2009

IOM Launches Radio Documentary Related to Internal Displacement in Timor-Leste

Dili, 13 January 2009, TIMOR-LESTE – This week, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) launched Historia ba Dame (History for Peace) a five-part radio documentary on national and local radio around the country. Historia aims to document the experiences of a broad range of stakeholders, including internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees, members of host communities, civil servants participating in the humanitarian response and international humanitarian actors.

The series addresses a wide variety of issues resulting from the 2006 Crisis, including internal displacement, return and reintegration and humanitarian assistance.

Historia is part of IOM’s continuing efforts to maximise the sustainability of the return and reintegration process. IOM believes that the opportunity for the local population to hear some of the countless perspectives on the 2006 Crisis will contribute to the country’s recovery and longer-term peace-building efforts.

“The different stories presented in Historia will allow people who might otherwise only see the conflict and its effects from their point of view to begin to understand the profoundly different effects it has had on other communities”, said IOM Chief of Mission Luiz Vieira. “It is our hope that the broad range of perspectives presented in the programme will allow even very different communities to empathise with each other, thereby contributing to the dialogue and reconciliation processes ongoing around the country”, added Vieira.

Historia, completed in close cooperation with the European Commission for Humanitarian Aid (ECHO), is airing on both national and district-based community radio. The programme will air over a five-week period, with each episode airing numerous times over a one-week period. In addition to community radio in the districts, the programme will air on Radio Timor-Leste, 91.7 FM at 15.30 on Saturdays and Sundays.

Civil unrest beginning in April 2006 led to the internal displacement of approximately 150,000 people in Timor-Leste. Since 1 January 2008, IOM has worked closely with the Government of Timor-Leste to implement a comprehensive return and reintegration programme aiming to provide a durable solution to the approximately 100,000 IDPs remaining at that time. As of 1 January 2009, the vast majority of IDPs have returned home, and IOM is working with returnees and host communities to maximise the sustainability of the process.

For more information, please contact Brad Mellicker at bmellicker@iom.int or +670.735.1998.

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