mao_1999_21_020.jpg

MASSIMOSCIACCA

THE EAST TIMOR NIGHTMARES

On August 30, 1999, more than 98 percent of eligible East Timorese cast ballots to determine their political future. A few days later U.N. officials announced the results: over 78 percent of East Timorese rejected Indonesia’s autonomy proposal and opted for independence. In retaliation, Indonesian military and police forces and their local paramilitary allies launched a scorched earth campaign, killing more than 1,500 Timorese, displacing nearly half the population, including more than 100,000 forced across the border into neighboring West Timor, and razing much of East Timor to the ground.

MASSIMOSCIACCA