Indonesia TimorLeste reach accord on truth and friendship commission UN

Details of the Truth and Friendship Commission’s work still remain to be worked out, however, the Foreign Ministers of both nations – Hassan Wirayuda of Indonesia and José Ramos-Horta of Timor-Leste – told reporters after their meeting with Mr. Annan in New York. They welcomed international support for the new panel.Following balloting on 30 August 1999 – in which 79 per cent of Timorese voted to reject the proposed autonomy and begin a process of transition toward independence – local pro-integration militias, at times with the support of elements of the Indonesian security forces, embarked on a campaign of violence, looting and arson throughout the entire territory.In addition to the nine Timorese UN workers killed during the mayhem, thousands were forcibly displaced across the border into Indonesian West Timor.Australia led a UN-mandated international force to quell the violence and the UN subsequently established in October 1999 the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), as the territory was then known, to guide the process of independence.In May 2002, with Mr. Annan in attendance, the UN handed over full sovereignty of the tiny island nation to an elected government and Timor-Leste became the world body’s 191st Member in September of that year.Mr. Ramos-Horta called the agreement “unprecedented” in international relations. “This is an initiative that we believe is highly positive and will shed truth on the events of the past, and we seek support from the international community in some form expertise to assist this commission,” he said.

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