View Full Version : East Timor SITREP

05-26-2006, 10:56 AM
East Timor

Anarchy, Chaos Take Hold of Capital (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,19259973-601,00.html) - The Australian
Troop Casualties Feared in E. Timor Chaos (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,19259971-601,00.html) - The Australian
Diggers Carry a Big Responsibility (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,19260009-601,00.html)- The Australian
Experience of Command (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,19260014-601,00.html) - The Australian
Australian Peacekeepers Deploy in Violence-Wracked East Timor (http://www.voanews.com/english/2006-05-26-voa3.cfm) - Voice of America
Australian Forces Intervene to Halt Fighting (http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/26/world/asia/26timor.html) - New York Times
Troops Land in Restive East Timor (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/25/AR2006052501886.html) - Washington Post
Soldiers Return to Restore Calm (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-2198232,00.html) - London Times
East Timor Fighting Eases (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/25/AR2006052500163.html) - Reuters
9 Unarmed Police Killed in East Timor (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/25/AR2006052500232.html)- Associated Press
We Offer Help to a Friend in Need (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,19260011-601,00.html)- The Australian
Rebuild or Face 'War Forever' (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,19260029-601,00.html)- The Australian News Analysis
Support Guaranteed (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,19260029-601,00.html)- The Australian Commentary
Squabbles Cripple Independence (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,19255936-601,00.html) - The Australian Commentary

10-12-2006, 02:53 AM
ICG, 10 Oct 06: Resolving Timor-Leste’s Crisis (http://www.crisisgroup.org/library/documents/asia/timor/120_resolving_timor_lestes_crisis.pdf)

The worst crisis in Timor-Leste’s short history is far from over. The country is in political limbo, waiting for the report of the UN-appointed Independent Special Commission of Inquiry that is expected to name names and recommend prosecutions for perpetrators of the April-May violence in Dili that killed more than 30 people. Scheduled for release in mid-October, it is critical to moving forward but potentially explosive. Elections scheduled for May 2007 could be another flashpoint. With some creativity, focus, and political will, Timor-Leste can get back on track but the wounds are deep, and it will require enormous political magnanimity on the part of a few key actors.

There is, however, a growing consensus on what is needed for resolution, including security sector reform. A new, expanded UN mission is in place with the mandate of “consolidating stability, enhancing a culture of democratic governance, and facilitating dialogue among Timorese stakeholders”.

The crisis is widely portrayed as stemming from the sacking of a third of the country’s defence forces in March 2006, after which the disgruntled soldiers became part of a power struggle between President Xanana Gusmao and the now deposed prime minister, Mari Alkatiri. However, the problem is far more complex.

06-13-2007, 08:16 PM
ICG, 13 Jun 07: Timor Leste's Parliamentary Elections (http://www.crisisgroup.org/library/documents/asia/timor/b65_timor_leste_s_parliamentary_elections.pdf)

Timor-Leste has just elected a new president and will hold parliamentary elections on 30 June 2007. Successful elections could strengthen political institutions and thus be an important part of nation-building for a country badly shaken by civil unrest in 2006, its fourth year of independence. Issues that arose in the presidential campaign are still very much alive – in particular, national sovereignty (the reliance on international peacekeepers); use of Timor Sea revenues; and justice for the 2006 violence. But personalities rather than party platforms are likely to determine the outcome of the parliamentary contest, and no one is offering concrete solutions to the country’s many problems....

01-18-2008, 12:13 PM
ICG, 17 Jan 08: Timor-Leste: Security Sector Reform (http://www.crisisgroup.org/library/documents/asia/south_east_asia/143_timor_leste___security_sector_reform.pdf)

.....Timor-Leste needs reform of its fragile, inefficient and politicised security sector to become the fully functioning, democratic and secure state its people deserve. The challenges are substantial but the presence of significant international troops and police gives its leaders important help in maintaining stability while they attempt to develop and implement policies that put national peace and security above political rivalries. The fundamental requirement is to create a national consensus on security strategy and structures through an inclusive, consultative process. The UN and bilateral donors have important interests in seeing their commitment through, not least that a further failure in this relatively benign environment would seriously undermine confidence in their strategies to assist the reconstruction of post-conflict states. The success of security sector reform in Dili, however, will ultimately depend on the ability of the Timorese leadership to foster non-partisan political will.
Complete 32 page paper at the link.

02-11-2008, 01:18 AM

That's just what this little nation needs... Rebel leader Reinado was posturing a little while ago about taking out Aussie peacekeepers. Now this. I know it was a delicate situation when the "petitioners" went on the rampage in '06, but I can't help thinking a 5.56mm SASR pill back then may have gone a ways to defusing this situation.

Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/02/11/2159179.htm

Ramos Horta wounded, Reinado dead in Timor attack

East Timor's President Jose Ramos Horta has been shot in the stomach after fugitive rebel leader Alfredo Reinado launched a pre-dawn raid on his home in the capital Dili, military and government sources say.

An East Timorese military spokesman says Reinado was killed by return gunfire during the attack.

Mr Ramos Horta is undergoing surgery at an Australian military base in the capital, a presidential adviser said.

"President Ramos Horta was shot in the stomach and is undergoing surgery at the heliport," Agusto Junior told reporters.

The stomach wound appeared serious, neighbour Januario Freitas told Reuters.

"Two cars attacked President Horta's home at 4:30am (local time). The attack was carried out by Alfredo's group," military spokesperson Domingos da Camara said, adding that an East Timorese soldier was also seriously wounded in the attack.

Australian peacekeeping soldiers have cordoned off the President's residence.

There are reports as many as 20 people were injured during the gun attack.

A journalist at the Timor Post newspaper said ambulances could be heard driving back and forth carrying wounded to Dili's Hospital.

The President's office says it will release a statement later today.


Alchino De Silva, an Australian-born East Timor businessman, says there is a feeling of heightened anxiety in Dili but he is confident peace can be maintained.

"I think everyone will be shocked with this news," he said.

"We just hope, and I'm pretty much confident that the Australian presence here and the international peacekeepers can prevent any serious unrest here.

"They have the powers to act and to react to any danger."

He says he has been driving around Dili to get a sense of the atmosphere, and most people are not going to work today.

"There will probably be a few opportunities to create more havoc and more rumours about more attacks here and there," he said.

Factional bloodshed

Asia's youngest nation has been struggling to claw its way back to stability after plunging into chaos in 2006 when the army tore apart on regional lines.

The factional bloodshed two years ago killed 37 people and drove 150,000 from their homes, with foreign troops needed to restore order.

Reinado has led a revolt against the government and has been charged with murder during the 2006 factional violence.

Rebels loyal to Reinado fired on Australian troops patrolling near Dili earlier this month, an Australian commander said at the time.

Associate Professor Damien Kingsbury from Deakin University says today's attack could lead to protests and riots.

"I think what this will lead to, as soon as the information has been made public in Dili - and that will take several hours for that information to get around - but I think we're going to see some protests and probably some rioting and destabilisation," he said.

Australia's Governor-General, Major General Michael Jeffery, offered his best wishes to Mr Ramos Horta.

"[The news is] very sad, and I hope Mr Horta makes a speedy recovery," he told Fairfax Radio.


SPOT PRESS:::: - Apparently Reinado's mates had attacked Xanana Gusmao's place at the same time.

I can't see this ending well given the amount of support the petitioners have/had.

03-31-2008, 03:04 PM
ICG, 31 Mar 08: Timor-Leste’s Displacement Crisis (http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/getfile.cfm?id=3366&tid=5355&type=pdf&l=1)

The shooting of President José Ramos-Horta in February 2008 underscored the urgency of addressing sources of conflict and violence in Timor-Leste. The unresolved displacement crisis is one of the important problems, both a consequence of past conflict and a potential source of future trouble. Nearly two years after the country descended into civil conflict in April 2006, more than 100,000 people remain displaced. Successive governments and their international partners have failed to bring about the conditions in which they might return home or to prevent further waves of displacements. The new government’s national recovery strategy needs to be properly funded and accompanied by a number of other crucial elements, most significantly the creation of a fair and functioning land and property regime, an increase in overall housing stock, an end to the cycle of impunity and reform of the justice and security sectors.

With 30,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in camps in the capital, Dili, the displaced are highly visible evidence of the failure to provide security and enforce the rule of law. As well as a humanitarian tragedy, they are a conflict risk in their own right. The 70,000 living outside camps, with families and friends, may be less visible but are a significant burden on their hosts.....
Complete 27 page paper at the link.

02-25-2009, 05:38 PM
Does anyone have any good leads on books or papers outlining the stability operations conducted in East Timor? I am looking for a history of the operation and/or a lessons learned. I looked at the East Timor SITREP but some of the links did not work.
Thank You.

02-25-2009, 05:57 PM
Have a look at the various websites of the Australian Defence Force and IIRC the Australian Federal Police. Their Defence Academy would be a good place to start; "faled states" remains a focus for them.

The UK's role was small compared to the Australians.


02-25-2009, 06:45 PM
Right on regarding looking at the Australian materials.

I can recommend the following:
Smith, Michael G., and Dee, Moreen. Peacekeeping in East Timor: The Path to Independence. Boulder, CO, Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2003. 214 p.
Book call no.: 320.95987 S6755p

I used it for a paper I wrote on the challenges of standing up of the external facing security forces in East Timor. If memory serves, Smith was the Australian General who led the UNTAET (vice INTERFET) efforts.

A quick search of East Timor stability operations in Google comes up with this (http://www.au.af.mil/au/aul/bibs/peaceops06.htm#ea), from 'Air University.' (http://www.au.af.mil/)

02-25-2009, 07:14 PM
David Kilcullen's PhD thesis (http://www.library.unsw.edu.au/~thesis/adt-ADFA/public/adt-ADFA20060323.121124/) is available for download. Chapter 4 focuses on East Timor. Analysis of the 1999 campaign begins on page 115.

02-26-2009, 01:14 PM
It may be worth looking at General Peter Cosgrove's book My Story.

02-26-2009, 05:24 PM
thanks for the thesis link. That is exactly what I was looking for.

04-22-2009, 12:23 PM
The Timor-Leste Armed Violence Assessment (http://www.timor-leste-violence.org/) is supported by the Timorese government together with Austcare, the Small Arms Survey and a network of partners. The project seeks to identify concrete entry points to reduce real and perceived armed violence. Undertaken between 2008 and 2009, it will establish a repository of international and domestic data on violence trends. Findings will be released in Tetum, Bahasa, Portuguese and English.
Issue Brief 2, April 2009:

Groups, gangs, and armed violence in Timor-Leste (http://www.timor-leste-violence.org/pdfs/Timor-Leste-Violence-IB2-ENGLISH.pdf)

Armed groups and gangs are not a new phenomenon in Timor-Leste, but evolved from clandestine resistance groups during the Indonesian colonial period to a heterogeneous multitude of collectives, including disaff ected veterans, clandestine groups, political fronts, martial arts groups (MAGs), village-based gangs, youth collectives, and security organizations. Nine years after the end of the Indonesian occupation, the fact that gangs have diversified and multiplied is a testament to a range of social tensions in Timorese society and the continued weakness of the state and its institutions. During the occupation these groups protected their communities from Indonesian security forces and the latter’s proxies; now they protect their communities from one another.

This Issue Brief reviews the presence and roles of gangs in Timor-Leste. In doing so, it examines their recent growth, the threats theypose, and their use of and access to weapons, in particular small arms.....