East Timor

It's not Australian to flap so it must be quite bad there.

Mar 5, 2007, 11:39 GMT

Sydney - Australia on Monday warned its citizens in East Timor they were risking their lives as security in the world's newest nation deteriorated in the wake of a failed attempt to capture rebel leader Major Alfredo Reinado.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said he had authorized the departure for staff from the embassy in Dili amid fears of reprisals against Australians for the failed attempt to capture East Timor's most wanted man.

'The deteriorating security situation in East Timor is a matter of serious concern to the Australian government,' Downer said in a statement issued in Canberra. 'The security situation is volatile and there is a high risk of violent civil unrest.'

Supporters of Reinado filled Dili's streets demanding that Australian troops be sent home and the international peacekeeping force disbanded.

The upsurge in violence comes after Australian troops killed four East Timorese in a raid on Same, Reinado's stronghold 50 kilometres from Dili. His escape was a blow for international peacekeepers trying to shore up security in time for next month's presidential elections.

Reinado broke out of prison in August while awaiting trial on charges of attempted murder and rebellion. He led an insurrection in May that left dozens dead and sent 100,000 people to makeshift refugee camps.

President Xanana Gusmao ordered that negotiations with Reinado be broken off and the former military police chief taken into custody.

East Timor achieved independence from Indonesia in 2002 and most foreign peacekeepers left the country. They returned when the current round of trouble began in March when soldiers went on strike complaining of ethnic discrimination within the ranks. In the power vacuum, ethnic gangs took over the streets.

Reinado is accused of leading an attack on loyalist soldiers that left five dead and 10 injured. The half-island was a Portuguese colony for 400 years before Jakarta invaded in 1975
The place is in the crap and there's not much to say really.

Apart from seriously thinking about moving to West Timor.
I tell you what annoys me. As an ex monkey it always seemed that all other military police in the world had more fun and considerably more power to abuse. News headlines are always coming up with the Military Police of this country or another running torture chambers, toppling governments and taking huge bribes. This guy is another example, now do you understand why you get attitude outside the Ram on a Saturday night?
Confessions of a former military police chief?

Sure beats parking just up the road from the Victory Bar in Stanley and nicking anybody who even vagely wobbles.
That is one part of Indonesia or it isn't but it was that you can't blame the Dutch for.

Shame, I usually blame them for everything else.

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