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August 1999 saw a vote on self determination in East Timor. Gusmão and other exiled leaders returned soon afterwards and the UN ran a three-year administration in the lead-up to parliamentary and presidential elections. It’s thought 100,000 died in the first few years, as the armed resistance was largely crushed and Indonesia held civilians in detention camps where many died in a famine. Most of the violence occurred in the capital Dili. The Timorese fought back. Many have feared returning home. The International Forces East Timor (INTERFET) coalition began deploying to East Timor on 20 September 1999, as a non-UN force operating in accordance with UN Resolutions. It has been pointed out that the ethnic cleansing in East Timor was a tactical move to lure people into West Timor, which, unlike East Timor, is part of Indonesia. The Indonesian military could easily tell the paramilitaries to stop and the international community, especially those who supported and backed the Indonesian regime were easily able to exert pressure on Jakarta to stop this violence, yet they were slow to do so. In May 2002 Gusmão was inducted as president of the newly named Timor-Leste. In fact, journalist Alan Nairn who was recently arrested in East Timor had witnessed the paramilitaries operating from Indonesian military bases and receiving orders etc. Before the May agreement was announced, an April paramilitary attack in Liquiça left dozens of East Timorese dead. 1999 East Timorese crisis ... Media in category "Crises in East Timor 1999" The following 18 files are in this category, out of 18 total. The 5 May agreements stipulated that, after the vote, UNAMET would oversee a transition period pending implementation of the decision of the East Timorese people. Some 1,400 civilians are believed to have died. Timor Leste or East Timor, has had a hard history. This violence had led to a delay in the elections. At the heart of the crisis in 1999 was the question of East Timor’s political status. This Video as an Original Document of War in East Timor Leste 1999. Yet even so, the massive donor response surprised everyone. Suharto’s successor, President BJ Habibe, was more open to some form of autonomy for East Timor, and released Gusmão from prison in Jakarta, into house arrest. It is appalling to look around Dili and see that ninety percent of the homes and buildings have been burnt or wrecked. The ironic thing is that ever since the 1975 invasion, East Timor had been occupied and controlled by the Indonesian military and so martial law doesn't seem to mean anything. He goes on to say that was it not for western business interests in Indonesia, more decisive action could have been seen and more lives could have been saved. The 1999 East Timorese crisisbegan with attacks by anti-independence militants on civilians, and expanded to general violence throughout the country, centred in the capital Dili. This was possible because the US, UK and others stopped various forms of aid to Indonesia, such as the all-important military aid, IMF aid etc. Just two weeks since the landing, as John Pilger had pointed out, only Dili had been secured. But extensive damage had been done. Colonised by the Portuguese in the 16 th century, this small south east Asian nation declared freedom from colonial rule on 28 November 1975.. Nine days later, neighbouring Indonesia invaded. This resulted in Jakarta declaring martial law in East Timor where more violence, killings, massacres, rape, burning, looting are taking place by the Indonesian-backed militias. The amount of destruction here dwarfs anything I have seen in other countries. Led by Australia, who contributed 5,500 personnel and the force commander, Major General Peter Cosgrove , it was tasked with restoring peace and security, protecting and supporting UNAMET, and facilitating humanitarian … The 1999 East Timor crisis began with widespread violence throughout the country, centered in the capital Dili. 10 Sep. 2000. This crisis was not sudden, totally unexpected or ultimately threatening to Australia’s survival. Building a nations infrastructure has been slow going, even with UN assistance. Indonesia invades East Timor Early in the morning, Indonesian forces launch a massive invasion of the former Portuguese half of the island of Timor, which lies near Australia in the Timor Sea. Jakarta feared a communist state on its doorstep and that a newly independent country in its sphere could destabilise the rest of the archipelago. August 1999 saw a vote on self determination in East Timor. 211 UN missions in East Timor to date are: UNAMET (June-October 1999), mandated with ensuring a free an ; 212 International Crisis Group (ICG). Towns and villages were decimated and vital infrastructure was ruined. (For more about how much Alan Nairn has reported on, see the media part of this East Timor section.). Rising anti-Australian sentiment in Indonesia has erupted in a … Fortunately, they airlifted them to safety. On 11 June 1999, the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET) was established through the Security Council Resolution 1246 to implement the 5 May Agreement between Indonesia and Portugal which granted East Timor a referendum or "consultation" on its future. East Timor/Timor-Leste. “What Happened in East Timor?.” Global Issues. Gun attack on embassy - TIMOR RESCUE. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1999_East_Timorese_independence_referendum Indonesian-backed militia groups who had terrorised the population before the vote stepped up their attacks, aided by Indonesian security forces. On 16 May 1999, … As many as 200,000 people are thought to have perished in fighting, massacres and forced starvation. The violence erupted after a majority of eligible East Timorese voters chose independence from Indonesia. During the 25 years of ... Crisis in East Timor. This Video as an Original Document of War in East Timor Leste 1999. Long a colony of Portugal, East Timor was invaded by neighboring Indonesia in 1975 and subsequently annexed. Various institutions still need to be set up or strengthened. All rights reserved. The East Timor Crisis of 1999 has received considerable attention in Australia. This article is part of the following collection: Bookmark or share this with others using some popular social bookmarking web sites: Copy/paste the following HTML code to your page: Anup Shah, What Happened in East Timor?, Global Issues, Updated: September 10, 2000. The paramilitaries had decimated the area and when they left virtually the whole of East Timor's infrastructure had been destroyed and all institutions of government and administration had ceased to function. Militia who did not like the independence in East Timor started the conflict when they attacked civilians. Other aid workers (non UN, such as from Oxfam, etc) have also had to pull out for now, until the situation becomes more stable. Sadly, however, it was after many people have been killed and displaced.). While under Indonesian occupation from 1975 – 1999, Timor was listed as a non-self-governing territory with the UN Special Committee on Decolonisation. Resolving Timor-Leste’s Crisis, p. 17. In 1978 Australia’s prime minister, Malcolm Fraser, was the first to recognise Jakarta’s de facto annexation. The Asian financial crisis and massive pro-democracy protests led to the resignation of the country’s strongman, President Suharto, who had been in power for more than 30 years and had authorised the invasion of Timor. Of the almost 99 percent voter turn out (which is very courageous in itself, given the looming threats from militia groups), over 75 percent voted for independence. Alleging pro-independence bias on the part of UNAMET, the groups were seen working with and receiving training from Indonesian soldiers. Australian-led UN peacekeeping forces finally landed in Dili, East Timor, after much delay. During World War II, thousands of East Timorese lost their lives helping Australia forces fight against the Japanese. There was at that time (and still is) a long way to go; the return of refugees, end to militia activity and prosecution of rights violators are all high priorities. With East Timorese having gone through so much to gain independence from Indonesia, some regions within Indonesia have been somewhat ignored in comparison. In April 1974 a leftwing coup in Lisbon, the Carnation Revolution, led to Portugal setting its colonial outposts adrift. Since 1999, Australian Defence Force, Australian Federal Police and civilian personnel have been deployed to Timor-Leste (East Timor) in support of a series of UN missions to the territory. On 20 September 1999 an Australian-led international peacekeeping force, Interfet, arrived to restore order. Local elections were held in East Timor and the two biggest parties – the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (Fretilin) and the Timorese Democratic Union (UDT) – formed a coalition, but it did not last long. Some have been fatal. 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