Three and a half years after the 2006 crisis and the displacement of up to 150,000 people in Timor-Leste, all 65 camps for internally displaced people (IDPs) have been closed and their inhabitants have returned home or relocated to other areas of the country.
As of November 2009, only around 100 families were still in the few remaining transitional shelters in the capital Dili, according to an updated country profile from NRC´s Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC). With the return process in its closing stages, attention has now turned to the reintegration phase and the achievement of a durable solution for IDPs.
In one of the poorest countries in the world, people in Timor-Leste face significant difficulties accessing employment, services and infrastructure. The continued absence of a legal framework addressing land and property disputes, a weak justice system compromised by a culture of impunity, and a continuing need for security sector reform all stand in the way of sustainable peace.
Within this context the precise number of IDPs who have reintegrated successfully is unknown. Lack of accurate data gathered in post-return monitoring makes it difficult to assess the extent to which returnees have been able to achieve durable solutions. Collaboration between government departments, UN agencies, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and other humanitarian and development agencies has been ongoing since 2006. The Hamutuk Hari'i Konfiansa working group, created to address confidence building and reconciliation within the national recovery programme, and also the early recovery cluster, have helped coordinate the return and reintegration process.
However, until the causes of the 2006 crisis are addressed, and the institutions that support the overall peacebuilding process strengthened, the situation in Timor-Leste will remain fragile.