On Wednesday (17 September), an Indonesian Navy frigate took on a boatload of Timorese refugees, reportedly including one of the leaders of the Union for a Democratic Timor (UDT), one of the fighting Timorese liberation groups.
MV Bow of warship with island in background
MV Warship superstructure
MV Crew members watch
CU Barrel of gun PAN TO Dinghy with refugees
CU PAN Crew men on deck
MV Refugees in dinghy pull alongside ship as crew watches (3 shots)
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Background: On Wednesday (17 September), an Indonesian Navy frigate took on a boatload of Timorese refugees, reportedly including one of the leaders of the Union for a Democratic Timor (UDT), one of the fighting Timorese liberation groups.
The manoeuvre took place off the northern Timorese coastal town of Maubara. Reportedly, the refugees, who boarded the vessel along with some Indonesian frogmen, whose mission was not made clear, included one of the Carrascalao brothers, either Joao or Mario, both of whom are leaders of UDT.
The UDT has been struggling against the left wing Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (Fretilin) for control of the Portuguese colony but recent reports suggest Fretilin has gained the upper hand.
Indonesia, which shares the island with Portuguese Timor, has indicated its suspicion of Fretilin but has said it will not intervene in the independence struggle unless its security is threatened. But it has warned Fretilin not to continue its war against opposing political groups.
There have been reports that Indonesian Navy vessels have been sent to patrol offshore waters, however, and sightings of unknown vessels have included a submarine.