Indonesia: Endless Violence in East Timor

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July 4, 2006: In East Timor, peacekeepers believe that they have collected most of the army and police firearms that went missing during the recent unrest. So far, about thirty people have died in the unrest, and another 150,000 (15 percent of the population) have fled their homes to escape the violence. Australian, and the other nations supplying peacekeepers, want to withdraw their troops as soon as possible. But the unrest appears no closer to solution, even with the resignation of the unpopular (with about half the population) prime minister Alkatiri.

July 3, 2006: In Aceh, a clash between former rebels and police left a rebel dead and a policeman wounded. While the Aceh peace deal has been holding, there is still a lot of hostility between the former rebels and the security forces. There has been an increase in crime, especially thefts of relief supplies. Three ships were attacked by pirates off the Aceh coast recently, two of them were carrying relief supplies.

June 27, 2006: In East Timor, hundreds of supporters of former prime minister Alkatiri took to the streets and became increasingly violent. Opponents of Alkatiri came into the capital to demonstrate against the former prime minister. Peacekeepers had to fire their weapons to disperse the crowds.

June 26, 2006: East Timor prime minister Mari Alkatiri resigned after weeks of pressure. While an able politician, he has more support in parliament than he does on the street. Alkatiri had more support in the eastern part of the country. Alkatiri is accused of forming a death squad within the police to kill his political opponents.

 

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