NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATES

Masks are required as the campus is at red status.

58. East Timor (2002-present)

 

Pre-Crisis Phase (May 20, 2002-February 7, 2006):  East Timor achieved its independence from Indonesia on May 20, 2002.  Xanana Gusmao was sworn in as the president on May 20, 2002.  On May 20, 2002, the UN Security established the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET) to “provide interim law enforcement and public security,” and to “contribute to the maintenance of the external and internal security of East Timor.”  At maximum strength, UNMISET consisted of 4,776 peacekeeping troops/military observers and 771 civilian police personnel from 54 countries.  UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Kamalesh Sharma of India as Special Representative to East Timor beginning on May 21, 2002.  On December 4, 2002, the government declared a state of alert following riots in Dili. Two individuals were killed during the riots.  Prime Minister John Howard of Australia condemned the violence on December 5, 2002.  UNMISET was disbanded on May 20, 2005.  Thirteen UNMISET peacekeeping troops and military observers were killed during the mission.  The United Nations Office in Timor-Leste (UNOTIL), which consisted of 45 civilian advisers, 60 civilian police training advisers, 15 military advisers, and 10 human rights officers, was established by the UN Security Council on May 21, 2005.

Crisis Phase (February 8, 2006-July 10, 2006):  Some 580 government soldiers led by Lt. Gastão Salsinha deserted their barracks on February 8, 2006.  The rebel soldiers, who were relieved of duty in March 2006, rioted in Dili on April 24-28, 2006, resulting in the deaths of five individuals.  One government police officer was killed in political violence near Dili on May 8, 2006.  Government troops and rebels clashed on May 23, 2006, resulting in the deaths of one government soldier.  On May 24, 2006, the government requested assistance from Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, and Portugal.  Government troops clashed with rebel soldiers in Dili on May 25, 2006, resulting in the deaths of some 21 individuals.  An Australian-led multinational peacekeeping force, the International Stabilisation Force (ISF), was deployed in East Timor on May 25, 2006.  The ISF consisted of some 2,000 Australian troops, 220 Malaysian troops, 260 New Zealand troops and police officers, and 220 Portuguese police officers.  UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan appointed Atul Khare of India as special representative on May 25, 2006.  Three individuals were killed in political violence in Dili on May 27, 2006.  President Xanana Gusmao declared a state-of-emergency on May 30, 2006.  On June 21, 2006, President Gusmao called on Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri to resign.  Prime Minister Alkatiri resigned on June 26, 2006, and Jose Ramos-Horta was sworn in as prime minister on July 10, 2006.  More than 30 individuals were killed, and some 150,000 individuals were displaced during the crisis.

Post-Crisis Phase (July 11, 2006-February 10, 2008):  UNOTIL was disbanded on August 25, 2006.  On August 25, 2006, the UN Security Council established the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) “to ensure, through the presence of United Nations police, the restoration and maintenance of public security in Timor-Leste; to assist in further strengthening the national institutional and societal capacity and mechanisms for the monitoring, promoting and protecting of human rights and for promoting justice and reconciliation, including for women and children, and to observe and report on the human rights situation; and to facilitate the provision of relief and recovery assistance and access to the Timorese people in need, with a particular focus on the segment of society in the most vulnerable situation, including internally displaced and women and children.”  At maximum strength, UNMIT consisted of 1,608 civilian police and 34 military liaison officers from 46 countries commanded by Commissioner Rodolfo Asel Tor of the Philippines.  Two individuals were killed in political violence in Dili on October 26, 2006.  Jose Ramos-Horta was elected president with 69 percent of the vote in the second round of presidential elections held on May 9, 2007, and he was inaugurated as president on May 20, 2007.  Estanislau da Silva was appointed as acting prime minister on May 19, 2007.  Parliamentary elections were held on June 30, 2007, and the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (Frente Revolucionaria do Timor-Leste Independente-FRETILIN) won 21 out of 65 seats in the National Parliament.  The National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction (Congresso Nacional da Reconstrucao Timorense-CNRT) won 18 seats in the National Parliament.  Two individuals were killed in election-related violence in Viqueque.  The Carter Center (CC) sent eight long-term and seven short-term observers to monitor the parliamentary elections from June 3 to July 1, 2007.  Xanana Gusmao was sworn in as prime minister on August 8, 2007.

Crisis Phase (February 11, 2008-April 22, 2008):  President Ramos-Horta was shot during an attempted coup by rebel soldiers at his home near Dili on February 11, 2008.  Two rebels, including rebel leader Alfredo Reinado, were killed during the attack.  On February 11, 2008, President Ramos-Horta declared a 48-hour state of emergency. On February 13, 2008, the National Parliament extended the state of emergency for another ten days.  On February 22, 2008, the National Parliament extended the state of emergency, including a ban on rallies and a night-time curfew, for another 30 days.  On March 23, 2008, the National Parliament extended the state of emergency for another 30 days.  On April 22, 2008, the National Parliament lifted the state of emergency.

Post-Crisis Phase (April 23, 2008-present):  Lt. Gastão Salsinha, leader of rebel soldiers, surrendered to the government on April 29, 2008, along with eleven other rebel soldiers.  Taur Matan Ruak, an Independent candidate and former military commander, was elected president with 61 percent of the vote in the second round of presidential elections on April 16, 2012.  Parliamentary elections were held on July 7, 2012, and the National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction (NCTR) won 30 out of 65 seats in the National Parliament.  FRETILIN won 25 seats in the National Parliament. The Australia-Timor Leste Friendship Network (ATLF) sent 54 observers headed by Damien Kingsbury from Australia to monitor the parliamentary elections.  The Portuguese Language Speaking Countries (CPLP) sent observers headed by Carlos Amora to monitor the parliamentary elections.  The EU sent 28 long-term observers and 42 short-term observers from 28 countries headed by Fiona Hall from Britain to monitor the parliamentary elections from May 26, 2012 to July 24, 2012.  The European Parliament (EP) sent seven observers to monitor the parliamentary elections.  The ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) sent 14 observers, including Phil Goff and Lindsay Tisch from New Zealand, to monitor the parliamentary elections.  The Australian-led International Stabilization Force (ISF) was disbanded on November 22, 2012.  UNMIT was disbanded on December 31, 2012.  Nine UNMIT civilian police and three UNMIT international staff personnel were killed during the mission.

[Sources:  British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), May 20, 2005, March 17, 2006, April 26, 2006, May 26, 2006, May 28, 2006, May 30, 2006, June 3, 2006, June 16, 2006, June 26, 2006, July 10, 2006, July 14, 2006, August 26, 2006, October 27, 2006, May 9, 2007, May 11, 2007, June 30, 2007, August 7, 2007, August 8, 2007, February 11, 2008, February 15, 2008, February 22, 2008, April 29, 2008, March 17, 2012, April 15, 2012, April 17, 2012, July 7, 2012, July 8, 2012, November 22, 2012, December 31, 2012; European Union (EU) statement, July 9, 2012; New York Times (NYT), May 30, 2006; The Guardian, February 13, 2008; United Nations (UN) press release, April 28, 2005, August 29, 2005; Washington Post, June 26, 2006.]