Saturday, October 23, 1999 Published at 02:27 GMT 03:27 UK
'Day of freedom' for Timor
Mr Gusmao is expected to become East Timor's first president
The East Timorese independence leader, Xanana Gusmao, has made a triumphant homecoming to the territory, urging reconciliation and renewal in an emotional address in the capital, Dili.
"Today is the day of freedom of East Timor," he told a 5,000-strong group of supporters.
"All of our suffering, we can leave behind. Today we see our future. This land is ours. We will be independent forever."
The East Timorese leader, who flew secretly to the territory on Thursday night, wept during his speech, his voice breaking with emotion.
Sobs could also be heard from the crowd, while others punched the air with cries of "Viva East Timor."
Vincente da Cruz, a local man wearing a T-shirt bearing Mr Gusmao's face, said: "This is the day we have waited for. Now he is back we can start again. Now we can be happy again."
Mr Gusmao, who is regarded by many East Timorese as a legendary and charismatic figure, is a likely president of the new country.
Mr Ramos Horta - who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1996 - told the BBC that the new government's decision to recognise the East Timorese independence vote was greatly encouraging.
Interfet into enclave
"We hope that with his wise and mature leadership, together with the other leaders of East Timorese society, that they can help the UN manage the transition to nationhood."
Mr Gusmao's return came as the multinational peacekeepers announced that they had expanded their security force to cover the whole of the territory.
The action follows allegations by pro-independence groups that murders and rapes were taking place in the enclave on a daily basis. The groups had called for Interfet to intervene quickly.
Most of the ship's passengers had been in West Timor since early September, having either fled the violence in East Timor or been forced across the border by pro-Indonesian militia.
It was the first such ship to carry home refugees displaced by the recent violence. Tens of thousands of East Timorese are still waiting across the border hoping to return soon.