Saturday, 19 May 2012

An Early Warning System for Timor-Leste: A Framework Concept of the Need and Possibility of an Early Warning System for the Timorese People

2006 ETLJ 8 An Early Warning System for Timor-Leste: A Framework Concept of the Need and Possibility of an Early Warning System for the Timorese People
Andrew Harrington
B.A (Hon.), LL.B / M.A. International AffairNorman Paterson School of International AffairsFaculty of CommoLaw, University of OttawJoint Candidate Ottawa Canada 10/04

This project was commenced before the current unrest began in Timor-Leste and was completed roughly the same time ‘The Petitioners’ took to the hills.  Additional footnoting and editing was completed in late June 2006.  Unfortunately for the people of Timor-Leste, the current situation and the near disintegration of the country clearly justifies this work and demonstrates the need for an early warning conflict prevention system for the near future in Timor-Leste.  While the UNOTIL mandate has been extended twice now by the Security Council, the exact shape or form of UN follow on mission remains unknown.  For now, nearly 3000 foreign troops and police remain patrolling the streets of Dili and roughly 130,000 people have been displaced to camps.  Prime Minister Alkatiri has stepped down and his supporters are massing by the thousands outside Dili. The future of the now broken government, and country, remain unclear… 

The Author would like to thank Edward Rees, Mytaher Haskuka Deirdre Keogh, and David Carment for their help with this paper. 

COPYRIGHT 2006 Andrew Harrington
Comments welcome



Acronyms                             4
PROJECT OVERVIEW                             5
PROJECT OBJECTIVE:                            5
& KEY STAKEHOLDERS:                         6
TARGET BENEFICIARIES:                       6
PROJECT DURATION:                            6
TOTAL PROJECT BUDGET:                     6
MAP OF TIMOR-LESTE                          7
& PROJECT BACKGROUND                     7
Key Indicators                                      11
History of Armed Conflict:                     11
Governance and Political Instability                12
Militarization                                        14
Population Heterogeneity                      16
Demographic Stress                             16
Economic Performance                         16
Human Development                            17
Environmental Stress                           17
International Linkages                          18
Analysis:  Failed State?                        18
STEP 1:                                              21
STEP 2:                                              22
STEP 3:                                               29
POSSIBLE ACTORS                               33
IMPLEMENTATION                                36
OVERALL BENEFITS                              38
CONCLUSION                                       38
Appendix 1: Comprehensive Timeline
for Timor-Leste                                    40

Acronyms          Definition

This paper first justifies the author’s belief an Early Warning System ought to be implemented, second identified problem areas to be addressed (using the early-warning framework), third outline how to identify, assess, and bring actors and possible participants into the conflict prevention system, and finally, identifies possible actors, implementation concerns, and reviews the ultimate goals of the project.

A Systematic Approach to Conflict Prevention Phase I: The Early Warning System (EWS) is intended to provide stakeholders in Timor-Leste with a conflict monitoring and prevention system. Like the UNDP EWS system established in Kosovo, it will be a strategic planning, early response, and policy-planning tool for development and peace-building actors in Timor-Leste.  This will be done by creating recommendations for preventative measures based on trend analysis and the monitoring of key conflict driving sectoral indicators. 

To foresee and monitor potential conflicts/crises, to impart information to local analysts to do so themselves, to advise crisis prevention policies, and to support the establishment and maintenance of peace in Timor-Leste.  Ultimately, through this process, local actors will develop the skills necessary complete EWS activities on their own, thereby making it a self-sustainable local activity.

USAID, AusAID, CIDA, EU & UNDP cost-sharing and local staff capacity; keen interest by the Australian government is anticipated. UNDP Direct Execution.  Country implementation partner to be determined.  

Government of Timor-Leste & security forces, UNOTIL, UN Agencies, International organizations, local NGOs, the general population, and concerned countries, principally Australia.

12 month pilot project with possibility for extension upon term completion

USD$ 500,000 for pilot and establishment, follow on amounts for further phases to be determined by a needs basis.

 Figure 1 Detailed map of Timor-Leste from:  Perry Castañeda Map Collection.
   (Accessed March 12, 2006


Timor-Leste (formerly East Timor) is the world’s newest democratic country.  After nearly 400 years of Portuguese colonial rule and 24 years of Indonesian military occupation, independence was formally gained in May of 2002.  It is a small country, covering half the island of Timor and currently has a population of less than one million.  Timor-Leste is a village-based society with over sixteen distinct language groups, characterized by dramatic geography, isolation, and diverse local cultural traditions.

The country has a violent history.  After a brief civil war, Timor-Leste declared independence from Portugal on November 28th, 1975. It was invaded and occupied by Indonesian forces nine days later, under the auspices of crushing a Communist revolution at the request of one the defeated internal faction, the União Democrática Timorense (UDT).  It was then incorporated into Indonesia in July 1976 as the province of Timor Timur, in violation of international law prohibiting acquisition of territory through aggression.  This move was internationally recognized only by Australia.

An unsuccessful, yet extremely brutal, campaign against local resistance fighters followed over the next twenty-four years, during which the occupiers, killed, starved, and executed between 104,000 to 183,300 Timorese citizens— out of the then 800,000 population. On the 30th of 1999, the United Nations (UN) supervised a popular referendum asking the people of Timor-Leste whether they wanted special autonomy within Indonesia, or not; a “No” vote, against special autonomy, was in essence a vote for outright independence.  An overwhelming majority of the people of Timor-Leste (78.5%) voted "No".  Within hours of the final tally, violence broke out.  Between the referendum and the arrival of a multinational peacekeeping force in late September of 1999, pro-Indonesian Timorese militias (organized, trained, and explicitly supported by Indonesian military), and the Indonesian military itself, commenced a countrywide scorched-earth campaign of retribution. They killed approximately 2,000 Timorese—foreigners and journalists as well—and forced nearly 300,000 people into Indonesian West Timor as refugees while displacing over two-thirds of the population.  The rampage destroyed the bulk of the country’s infrastructure.  Homes, irrigation, water supplies, schools, government buildings, banks, stores of all kinds, and nearly 100% of the country’s electrical grid were all ruined.  Formal institutions and governance structures disappeared almost literally overnight.

On the 20th of September 1999, Australian-led peacekeeping troops of the International Force for East Timor (INTERFET) deployed to the country and terminated the chaos and violence. On the twentieth of May 2002, after 3 years of UNTAET (United Nations Transitional Authority for East Timor) governance, Timor-Leste was formally recognized internationally as an independent state.  The UN mission to Timor-Leste has been renewed three times as: UNMISET (United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor, May 2002-2005), UNOTIL (United Nations Office in Timor-Leste, May 2005-2006), and possibly as the United Nations Special Political Office (UNSPO, May 2006-2007).  The mandates changing from the initial INTERFET peace enforcement to the UNOTIL political assistance mandate represent the gradual withdrawal of the UN presence on the ground subsequent to the successful 2002 elections.  While UNOTIL remains under the command of the United Nations Department of Peace Keeping Operations and under a Section VII mandate, the mission’s focus is on skills transfer to the nascent government and capacity building in the security and public sectors.

The UNDP Timor-Leste Country Office has been operating for 6 years, over which the country has undergone great changes.  The 3 broad focus areas of the UNDP Country Programme are: 

Poverty reduction and community development
Governance and capacity development
Environment and natural resource management

A dedicated operations team, a strategic planning unit, and a media unit support the programme. 

Despite relative stability since gaining formal independence, a number of key areas of concern for Timor-Leste exist.  The first step in ensuring conflict does not erupt once again in Timor-Leste is to identify those potential and actual problem areas.  Monitoring and addressing them is paramount to avoid a slide back into conflict, and therefore undoing the progress achieved in this young nation. 

The stages of cyclical conflict are generally accepted as follows:

1. No conflict 
2. Latent conflict
3. Emergence
4. Escalation
5. (Hurting) Stalemate
6. De-Escalation
7. Settlement/Resolution
8. Post-Conflict Peacebuilding and Reconciliation

Figure 2 Courtesy of: Eric Brahm. “Conflict Stages” (September 2003).
at < >

Most would agree that Timor-Leste is at “Post Conflict, Peacebuilding, and Reconciliation” stage, or in the final stage of conflict termination.  However, this may be a premature, overly optimistic outlook, and perhaps only true in relation to the 24-year armed resistance against Indonesian occupiers and collaborators.  The current situation represents what could be called the first stage of a new internal conflict between Timorese parties and interests, or the continuation of an internal division/conflict that predated the Indonesian invasion. 

The first stage in the conflict cycle listed above is “latent conflict” or “unstable peace.”  This is defined as a situation where individuals, groups, organizations, or nations have differences causing friction among one another.  Those differences may be insufficient to motivate one party to act in alteration of the situation, but have that potential.  Differential power, resources, differing interests or values all have the potential to spark conflict if a triggering event occurs. 

After a latent conflict persists for some time, if the underlying grievances or frustrations are strong enough and ignored, a “triggering event” could mark the emergence or “eruption” of conflict. This triggering event could be the first indication of an emerging conflict, or perhaps signalling the beginning of a protracted, low-level conflict.  Over the past few years in Timor-Leste, numerous events point first to latent conflict while recent events portend possible triggers. 

Appendix 1 is a broad timeline compilation of key events, current and past, in Timor-Leste (See end of paper), while the following is a survey of key conflict indicators for Timor-Leste:

Key Indicators:

History of Armed Conflict: 
1. Armed Conflicts: As noted above, brutal 24-year Indonesian occupation ended with August 1999 Referendum.  Post referendum violence killed up to 2000 people, and razed the country’s infrastructure and institutions.  Multiple protests since independence: 2003 student protests; parliament burned, numerous stores looted and torched: 2005 peaceful church protest against removing religion from schooling: 2006 firing of 591 soldiers for protesting pay and living conditions played a role in Dili riots, creating instability and fear.
2. Resistance Veterans Association: Numbers around 11,000 members; headed by President Xanana Gusmão.

3. Border issues have flared up sporadically.  A failure to consult the local population in border resolution with Indonesia has sometimes put village farmlands on one side of the border, and the village on the other.  Despite a UN backed meeting in Oecussi to discuss ways to reduce tension in the area, on the twelfth of October, 2005, two days later, East Timorese Border Patrol Units (BPUs) were wounded and forced to fire warning shots after being attacked by a mob of 200 Indonesian villagers wielding stones and improvised weapons.  The villagers stormed the border post, destroyed it, and advanced nearly one Kilometre across the border. The Indonesian Military (TNI) apparently backed the assault.  Further cross border incidents involving militia members and Timorese citizens have been recorded.

4. Internal Unrest:  Massive church-led anti government protests in 2005 revealed social fragmentation and a disconnect between the government and people and reasserted the Catholic Church’s power in the country;

5. Most recently in March of 2006, roughly half the F-FDTL (591 individuals) were fired in response to a protest over poor conditions, pay, and nepotism in the armed forces, particularly the lack of advancement opportunity due to upper ranks filled with senior Xanana Gusmão loyalists.  The following week, riots and/or disturbances ensued, houses were burned, and a police officer stabbed –some Indonesians and foreign workers “fled” to Indonesia in response.  Gastao Salsinha, a spokesperson for the dismissed soldiers, expressed concerns that people from eastern parts of the country, including top military officers, accused the dismissed men of being aligned to pro-Indonesian militias who destroyed the country in 1999.  He also noted some people from the eastern part of the country making accusations against his men had been given rifles; "What are they for? We are worried about this," “adding that if they wanted to create instability, the town of Dili would be destroyed by now.”  As noted above, this situation has spiralled out of control subsequent to the writing of this paper.   

6. Refugees Hosted, IDPs, Others of Concern:  Pockets of refugees remain in West Timor (Indonesia).  Incursions by members of militia involved in 1999 rampage still reported.  Large number in population participated in guerrilla war against Indonesia, consequently have combat skills and experience.  Internal displacement due to recent protests is on the rise.

Governance and Political Instability
1. Level of Democracy: Highly politicized society.  High percentage of democratic participation, high voter turnout.  Governance institutions still in process of being established and strengthened by UNOTIL under current mandate. 

2. Regime Durability: Current ruling party, FRETILIN led transition from UNTAET to national control.  In power only since 2002 elections.  While likely to remain in power because association of FRETILIN to independence guerrilla movement, growing dissatisfaction and immature political moves may result in power shift in 2007 elections.  Election run-up and follow up likely to be highly contested and unstable.  Issue of 591 sacked soldiers will likely factor.

3. On top of the near institutionalized latent conflict, the main political pressure group, the CPD-RDTL (Committee for the Popular Defence of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste), has gained a sizeable following among former FALINTIL fighters disaffected by their exclusion from F-FDTL forces in favour of President Elect Xanana Gusmão loyalists; members were arrested during an inflammatory flag raising ceremony (not the Timorese flag), raising questions about the constitutionality of the Indonesian law applied, apparently violating freedom of expression rights;

4. In 2002 large riots erupted during a CPD-RDTL declared protest period in which they demanded more former FALINTIL fighters be taken into the F-FDTL; large number of students appeared at parliament to complain about a student arrested the day before; violence and gunfire erupted as the roughly 500 students marched on the police station.  The parliament buildings were sacked, the homes of the Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri and his brother were torched, along with many vehicles and local businesses;

5. Restrictions on Civil and Political Rights:  Very progressive Constitution; incorporates into domestic law all international treaties signed and ratified by government, and high human rights standards enshrined in Constitution itself.  Debate over Constitutionality of anti-demonstrations law.  Law suit filed by Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri against opposition party member for slander; accusations of corruption against Prime Minister; anti-defamation law under scrutiny. 

6. Political parties: Christian Democratic Party of Timor or PDC [Antonio XIMENES]; Christian Democratic Union of Timor or UDC [Vicente da Silva GUTERRES]; Democratic Party or PD [Fernando de ARAUJO]; People's Party of Timor or PPT [Jacob XAVIER]; Revolutionary Front of Independent East Timor or FRETILIN [Francisco Guterres Lu OLO]; Social Democrat Party of East Timor or PSD [Mario CARRASCALAO]; Socialist Party of Timor or PST [Pedro da COSTA]; Sons of the Mountain Warriors (also known as Association of Timorese Heroes) or KOTA [Clementino dos Reis AMARAL]; Timor Democratic Union or UDT [Joao CARRASCALAO]; Timor Labor Party or PTT [Paulo Freitas DA SILVA]; Timorese Nationalist Party or PNT [Abilio ARAUJO]   Many politicians were involved in politics prior to the Indonesian invasion.  Old divides remain.

7. Police:  Police abuse, arbitrary detention, unauthorized use of firearms, impunity for rape, failure to adhere to legal standards on torture and other physical mistreatment –listed as key problems facing the PNTL according to a recent Human Rights Watch publication.

8. Restrictions on Press Freedom: Capacity building still underway.  Aggressive media, little restriction if any on press freedom.  Timor-Leste Ranked 58th globally by Reporters Without Borders 2005 survey and scored “30” “Free” by Freedom House Survey, 2005. Training of local media being undertaken by Internews. 

9. “The government of Mari Alkatiri, visibly angered by media independence, tried to bring the privately-owned daily Suara Timor Lorosae [Voice of Timor-Leste] in line in February [2006] by calling for a boycott of the newspaper and evicting it from its offices.  In December, the prime minister initiated a reform of the criminal code, penalising press offences. Journalists will face up to three years in prison for defamation of anyone in a public authority role, a backward step that was condemned by many journalists. This tougher line came after various voices were raised to condemn poor governance of the country. In 2005, the bishop of Dili said that the country was mired in corruption and lack of openness. President Xanana Gusmão and the UN tried to defuse tensions between the authorities and the press, but without much success so far.”

10. Justice Sector/Rule of Law:  Three-tiered system; District courts (4- Dili, Suai, Baucau & Oecussi enclave) are court of first instance; Court of Appeal is currently next step up as supreme legal authority; Supreme Court is established in Constitution, but has yet to actually be established. 

1. The only court to sit consistently is the Dili District Court.  The initial absence of courts in far-flung Districts has now been replaced by sporadic, unpredictable sittings.  Because of the unpredictability, judges, prosecutors, defendants, and claimants have all missed court dates.
2. Judges, Public Defenders, and Public Prosecutors are still short on resources and proper training (few Timorese have the appropriate skills after independence), have extremely heavy workloads partially due to members consistently being sent for training in Portugal (7/22 judges per year and constant in country training for all court staff). 
3. International judges filling the gaps in Timorese justice are constrained first by language requirements to Portuguese speaking countries, and second by relatively short contracts, impeding ‘judicial notice’ of the situation in society outside the court. Further, the legislation being used (a hodgepodge mixture of Indonesian Penal law, UNTAET regulations, Timorese Law, and International law) is confusing and does not necessarily reflect the realities of Timor Leste. Difficulties in obtaining appropriate skills transfers from international advisers due to language constraints and unfamiliarity with alien legal concepts
4. Lack of communication of decisions between District and Court of Appeals, making rule of law vague.
5. The Court of Appeal (current highest court) was on18-month hiatus, leading to huge increase in number of pending cases
6. The Supreme Court, provided for in the Constitution as the highest court in the land, has yet to be established, eliminating an avenue of appeal for users.
7. The courts remain entirely reliant on the international donor community for funding (this will change with major oil extraction revenues pending).
8. Poor planning and oversight of the judicial sector in general.

11. Level of Corruption: Limited experience in governance and civil service create environment in which corruption may grow.  Wide allegations of corruption in government and government procurement.  Border and customs alleged to be corrupted, smuggling ‘rampant’ and illegal border crossings across Indonesian border.  World Bank sanctioned Petroleum Fund to hold funds garnered from offshore oil exploration.  Situation complicated by complex family connections, including allegations of prejudiced procurement.  Large, uncontested weapons supply contract for military awarded to Prime Minister’s brother.  Note:  Country was not included in Transparency annual corruption index.

1. F-FDTL (FALANTIL-Forças de Defesa de Timor-Leste; East Timor Defense Force)
   Strength: 1,600 (approximately, before 591 soldiers sacked for going AWOL); 3,000 previously projected.
2. PNTL (Policia Nacional de Timor-Leste- Timor-Leste National Police) Includes Bodyguard units to protect senior ministers and officials; border police (BPU);  counter-insurgency response force; and riot police -- a battalion-sized force of more than 600 men.
Strength: 2,800 (approximately before current unrest)
3. Total Military Expenditure:  USD$4.4 Million (FY2003 est.)
4. Military Expenditure (% of GDP) 5.5%
5. UNTAET’s failure to properly integrate FALINTIL fighters into the F-FDTL has led to simmering discontent by those included and those excluded from the F-FDTL; underlying this failure is a larger issue, as a former UNTAET staff member explains: 

Early decisions regarding demobilisation and establishing the defence force and police services were made in a spirit of political and practical expediency rather than with a view to the long-term development of East Timor. A few UN officials in conjunction with a narrow section of the East Timorese leadership guided the process. This resulted in institutions that are characterised by many in East Timor as being illegitimate. This is clearly a dangerous equation. Old divisions in the anti-Indonesian resistance movement are being institutionalised in the new East Timorese state with one political grouping (President Gusmão's allies) finding a home in the defense force and dissidents (under the patronage of the Minister for Internal Administration) likely finding a home in the police service, and some elements of local government.

6. Imports of Major Conventional Weapons: (All to PNTL- F-FDTL arsenal unknown) 2700 Glock 9mm pistols, FNC assault rifles, F2000 machineguns, HK-33 assault rifles, MP5 A3 sub-machineguns, and a licence to broker sophisticated military equipment including tanks, patrol boats and attack helicopters was granted last year to Prime Minister’s brother’s company, Caval Bravo Pty Ltd, as part of exclusive supply contract-a point of contention as it was awarded without open contest; PNTL acquired 450 assault weapons. "In the absence of (militia) border incursions, will the UPR (Counter-Insurgency Police) have an internal security or policing role armed with military weapons?" asked one Western security analyst.  F-FDTL struggles for resources beside PNTL; special presidential report into F-FDTL warned of rising tensions aggravated by much better pay and conditions enjoyed by PNTL.

7. Relationship between PNTL and F-FDTL is strained and politicized. Population and officers within both forces have expressed concerns.  Frictions between security forces perhaps arose with appointment of Rogerio Lobato as Minister of the Interior in 2002. Efforts to undermine F-FDTL in 2001 by dissidents, and subsequent attempts to politicize police by the same dissidents were followed by rise in direct and indirect clashes between PNTL and F-FDTL in 2002 and 2003.  Minister of the Interior expanded his domain over PNTL in budgetary allocation over the F-FDTL and expanded role for PNTL in countering cross border incursions and suppression of rural domestic and cross border ‘insurgents’, clearly treading upon defence policy and F-FDTL domain.

Population Heterogeneity
12. Heterogeneous and diverse country.  Population of roughly one million.  Outside Dili, village-based society with over sixteen distinct language groups, characterized by extremely diverse geography, local cultural traditions, and isolation.  Anecdotal evidence of mild East-West culture divide due to Indonesian occupation and perceived/actual role of population in resistance efforts; really more of a “geo-ethnic” difference, but could prove vehicle for unrest.  Vast majority of population (90%) consider themselves Catholic with smatterings of Islam, Chinese Buddhism.  Traditional animist religion and beliefs remain; village based Chefe (Chief) system remains strong outside the capital, Dili.

Demographic Stress
13. Population:  In the period from 2000 to 2003, women were bearing children at a rate of 7.77 children per woman. This is higher than the current fertility of any country listed in the most recent United Nations’ assessment of demographic trends,” says the Survey, warning that, “at the current rate of population growth of 3.9% [child mortality has simultaneously declined 50%], the population doubles every 18 years.” This poses a serious challenge to the country as it seeks to meet the development goals with increasing demand for schools, jobs, health, food and other infrastructure facilities. 

14. Annual population growth rate (annual %): 2000: 0.5%; 2003: 5.4%; 2004: 5.4%.  This will undoubtedly cause pressure on scant social services, labour and employment market, and natural land resources, already under stress.

15. Urban Population:  7.7% compared to 40.6% average for East Asia and Pacific and  30.6% for low income nations as a whole.

16. Age Structure:  Youth Bulge
o0-14 years: 36.3-41% (male 196,293/female 189,956)
o15-64 years: 60.6% (male 328,111/female 315,401)
o65 years and over: 3.1% (male 16,072/female 16,944) (2006 est.)

Economic Performance
GDP at current and constant 1990 prices, Per Capita GDP, Growth rate

GDP at current pricesGDP at constant 1990 prices  
US DollarsUS DollarsUS DollarsUS DollarsUS DollarsPercent  
2002381381178178491  3  
2003341341174174412 -2.7  
2004328328175175370  0.9

17. Initial GDP growth in 2000 & 2001 was likely due to the international presence (peak of nearly 10,000 peacekeepers alone) which has been steadily scaled back since.  A positive note is the establishment of a World Bank administered petroleum fund designed to protect against abuse and graft of petroleum funds.  World Bank hold funds in New York;  now valued in excess of USD$500 Million.

18. Surprisingly, despite poor economic situation and widespread poverty, a recent report ranked Dili as the eighth most expensive city in Asia –above Singapore and Beijing—attributed largely to the sizeable international presence and its thirst for imported goods.  

19. Small-scale investments have materialized in agriculture and service sectors, but no major foreign private direct investments have been made in processing industries.

20 Unemployment: In 2001, unemployment rates in Dili and Baucau (2 largest cities) were 43% for 15 to 24 year olds, and 17% for 24 to 34 year olds. The World Bank surmises unemployment rates have undoubtedly increased since then.

21 Per capita GDP (PPP): US$370 or US$1.01/per day. 

22. 44% of the population subsists below $1 per day.

Human Development
23. HDI Ranking:  Timor-Leste 140/177 countries.  The rank would likely go down if indicators used were complete.  GDP/Capita data is missing from HDI report 2005 for Timor-Leste.  A national estimate of $1,033 (PPP US$) was used, but this number is 3 times higher than the $370 (PPP US$) in the UDNP’s own numbers in the MDG report, and those supplied by the World Bank (see above for WB source). 

24. The unemployment rate is about 30% in urban areas.  Reductions in the number UN personnel and employment have contributed to increased unemployment in Dili and other areas where UN activities were prominent.  

25. 64% of the population suffers from food insecurity

26. The underweight proportion of the under-five population is 46%, with 49% being ‘too short’ or stunted in growth. A further 28% are considered severely malnourished.

27. 75% of people in urban areas and 51% in rural areas have access to safe drinking water. Access to sanitary disposal by urban and rural areas is currently at 55% and 13% respectively.

28. International assistance decreased to approximately US$160 per capita in 2005 from US$300 in 2002. More than half of the development assistance has gone toward salaries and/or fees to international staff and experts, leaving little for beneficiaries.

Environmental Stress 

29. Natural hazards include: floods and landslides; earthquake zone, tsunami risk, and tropical cyclones

30. Widespread use of slash and burn agriculture has led to deforestation and soil erosion.

31. Forest area (% of land area): 53.7%  (28.4% for East Asia and Pacific, 24.8% for low income countries as a group) 

32. Annual deforestation (% change, 1990–2005) 1.2% (–0.2% for East Asia and Pacific,  0.5% for low income countries as a group)

33. Detailed research on environmental pressures and resources is still in progress.

International Linkages

35. Observer status in ASEAN; pursuing membership.

36. Section 9.2 & 9.3 of the Constitution state:

2. Rules provided for in international conventions, treaties and agreements shall apply in the internal legal system of East Timor following their approval, ratification or accession …
3. All rules that are contrary to the provisions of international conventions, treaties and agreements applied in the internal legal system of East Timor shall be invalid.

37. The following are some key international treaties; no reservations have been entered to the treaties acceded to:

Treaty NameFull Treaty Name       Signature Only        Accession & In Force

CAT      Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel Inhuman or
                          Degrading Treatment or Punishment                              16/05/2003

CAT OP        Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture and Cruel
                          Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment                    16/09/2005               Not in force

ICCPR          International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights                                                  18/12/2003

CCP-OP1       Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and
                          Political Rights                                                                      No Action                  No Action

CCPR-OP2- DP      Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil
                          and Political Rights                                                                                              18/12/2003

CEDAW        Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination
   against Women Accession                                                                                            16/05/2003

CEDAW- O           Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All
                         Forms of Discrimination against Women                                                                  16/07/2003

CERD           International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
                         Discrimination                                                                                                      16/05/2003

CESCR         International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights                                16/07/2003

CMW           International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of
                         All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families Accession                                 30/01/2004 

CRC             Convention on the Rights of the Child Accession                                                      16/04/2003 

CRC- OP- AC Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on
                          the involvement of children in armed conflict                                                                          02/08/2004 

CRC- OP- S          Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on
                          the sale of children child prostitution and child pornography                                           16/04/2003

38. Total exports: USD$7 Million; Total imports: USD$203 Million.  The country is heavily dependent on imports to meet almost all consumption needs.

Analysis:  Failed State?
Warned of in reports by OXFAM, the President Elect of Timor-Leste himself (Xanana Gusmão), and in a recent British DFID report, the worst-case scenario of “state failure” for Timor-Leste remains a concern; some have even argued Timor-Leste was conceived as a ‘failed state’.  Timor-Leste is of great importance for the international community.  Briefly, the billions of dollars poured into the country through multilateral and bilateral sources since 1999 will have been wasted, so will  the UN’s prime example of “successful” intervention and state building will be lost (e.g. a loss of normative weight behind that prime international actor).  Were further intervention requested or required by an extreme deterioration in Timorese circumstances, further resources would have to be expended, perhaps needlessly. In the words of one former UNTAET staff member and expert: 

Despite years of UN administration and billions of dollars spent on rebuilding the country and associated peace operation there is a possibility of a disintegrating state divided along political lines drawn by divisions in the resistance/veterans community and supported by their control of various state agencies.

Given contemporary concerns over transnational terrorism, Timor’s porous land border with Indonesia and difficult topography may make it an attractive base of operations for terrorist groups, namely Jemah Islamiah; this is of particular concern for Australia, already the target of multiple terrorist attacks in Indonesia and who’s coast is but a few hundred Kilometres away.

Lastly, Timor-Leste presents an ideal opportunity for developed nations to ‘make good’ on their foreign policy statements, many of which put failing states at the forefront, especially Canada.  While military intervention is unlikely and costly, diplomatic intervention and conflict prevention provide economical ways to fulfil vows made by developed countries’.  When Timor-Leste is compared against other possible target failed or failing states, many of which would require large scale military and diplomatic interventions with low probabilities for success (such as Sudan), Timor-Leste’s small size, relative peace, and pre-existing international presence make it a strong and economical candidate for cooperative preventative action by those nations with a vested interest in its continued stability (namely Australia, the United States, Portugal, Canada, and the European Union).

While the preceding rough look at the problems facing Timor-Leste is intended to be neither comprehensive, nor exhaustive, it clearly shows volatile elements in the country and rumbling discontent.  Given the breadth of problems identified above, the establishment of a functional Early Warning System (EWS) in Timor-Leste likely should have been done immediately following the 2002 elections (if not before).  Unfortunately it was not; perhaps due to the misguided belief Timor had entered the “Post Conflict” stage.  At first, this may seem surprising considering an EWS was implemented in Kosovo at roughly the same time (e.g. “Post Conflict”), however, a cursory survey of participants exiting the Early Warning & Preventive Measures program at the UN System Staff College shows that not one graduate from the program, running since 1999, ended up in Timor-Leste.  It is conceivable an EWS has not been considered.  The window of opportunity, however, has not yet past.  A slide back into conflict (or worse, state failure) remains a distinct possibility and should therefore be addressed with all expediency. 

Bearing latent conflict in mind, monitoring the situation in Timor-Leste is of vital importance.  It provides a key element in basic policy analysis and planning methods that may serve to close the warning–action gap, averting the emergence of new conflict and a perhaps failed state status by identifying specific points for intervention, preventative action, and other tailored programs.  An EWS anticipating conflict or state failure in Timor-Leste requires sound analysis and ultimately an explicit connection to concrete policy options for preventive/intervention measures. 

The overall framework for this integrative EWS combines 4 approaches; the FEWER (Forum for Early Warning Early Reaction) system, the CIFP-EWS (Country Indicators for Foreign Policy), the FAST International analytical framework, and finally EWS reports prepared by the UNDP.  As opposed to a ‘simple’ monitoring system, it is designed to integrate monitoring with concrete action, bringing concerned actors and stakeholders together to plan specific action and programmes in response to problems areas revealed through the monitoring aspect.  The UNDP in Kosovo has been producing quarterly early warning reports since 2002, representing a larger network in South East Europe (SEE) covering seven countries, and contemplating three more.  The Kosovo project is the most recent and therefore provides a logical (if not solid) foundation and starting point to design similar UNDP-EWS systems in the future.  The framework established in the UNDP EWS reports will provide rough focus areas for information gathering, with some additional areas unique to Timor-Leste.

The next step after identifying target areas is to establish and assess the potential resources at hand to address them, namely local and international groups and experts operating inside and outside the country.

The third step will be to outline and discuss possible considerations for implementation with concerned actors and stakeholders.

STEP 1: 
The first stage in establishing an EWS for Timor-Leste is to generate an in depth country background against which other factors may be gauged.  Using FAST terminology, this is described as establishing the “root causes”.  Root causes are

the general structural and deep-rooted background conditions.  Underlying events and conditions that have existed for many years and are mostly static or change slowly over time.  They tend to be embedded in historical/cultural contexts, e.g. religious conflict, long-standing border disputes, difficulty in state building, poverty/economic exclusion or ecological degradation.  Root causes are thus necessary but not sufficient conditions of armed conflict.  They can be instrumentalized by political actors and are generally used to assess the risk potential of a country.

The introduction and background on Timor-Leste provided above in this report is a cursory example of some root causes, and therefore the first stage.  An actual collection of root causes is necessary and should be the first step of any EWS project.  The United Nations Common Country Assessment (CCA) for Timor-Leste, “Building Blocks for a Country”, is a good place to begin research on root causes.  While it is perhaps out of date on various issues (having been published in November, 2000- prior to independence and the transition to self-governance from UNTAET control), if used in tandem with various NGO sectoral reports (e.g. Judicial Systems Monitoring Project periodic reports on the status of the justice system), the CCA would prove invaluable.

STEP 2: 
Again using FAST terminology, Step 2 will be to identify “proximate causes”.  These are described as “medium-term conditions and emerging socio-political economic trends.  Together with root causes, they can create sufficient conditions for an armed conflict.” 

Given the apparent latent conflict stage, particular attention should also be paid by all monitoring sectors to any and all potential conflict accelerators or triggers.  They must be identified as quickly as possible as they are dynamic causes, necessary and sufficient for conflict.  They may precipitate a conflict through their impact on root and proximate causes and interaction with other triggers.  The distinction between background conditions, intervening conditions and accelerators is crucial to ensuring any potential conflict or escalation is nipped in the bud before it develops by allowing efforts to be focused on the proper area/s.  Figure 3 contains a non-exhaustive listing of triggers that should at minimum be monitored at all levels of the EWS (attached at end of paper).  Mitigating and positive intervening factors should also be taken into account, as they may reduce conflict likelihood, but the main point of this project is to identify problems.

Three broad proximate cause areas are to be monitored in this step:


Each overarching category has numerous sub-categories, some of which straddle the lines between categories involving aspects of each.  Therefore, in addition to the original categories established by the UNDP Kosovo EWS, some obvious problem categories have been added for Timor-Leste, while more will be added during actual implementation of the monitoring system (See Figure 4, attached at end of paper)

There is a chicken-and-egg phenomenon here; selecting focus areas could be done more effectively after selecting the tools available to collect and analyze available data, yet the data collected cannot simply be grasped from the sky.  The situation is not irreconcilable, however, as information gathered during this phase of the EWS will serve to further hone focus areas.  Feedback will result in a dynamic, reactive, and ultimately better EWS.

The monitoring task itself is perhaps best carried-out using a four-pronged approach:  The first prong will be to analyse data collected through local and international media monitoring.  In order to do this, one of numerous automated data mining software programs should be used to quickly collect and sift through the information, such as the CAST system employed in the Fund for Peace Failed State Index, the IDEA (Integrated Data for Event Analysis) and the WEIS (World Interaction Survey) coding scheme or lesser-known alternatives.  The ability to “read” foreign language sources will be key for Timor-Leste, given that local media is in Tetum, Portuguese, or Indonesian –not English– regional media sources are even more diverse.  This is a significant factor to be considered when choosing a data mining software program for the Timorese context (likewise for all EWSs).  UNOTIL currently operates a media monitoring section on its website which is helpful, but not as complete as an in depth needs to be (their methodology for media collection is not explained).  While very helpful for providing broad focus areas, media may not always be dependable for accurate information on Timor-Leste (or other situations).  What the media reports does not always represent the on-the-ground situation, further, media reporting usually focuses on crisis situations, times when developments have already gone off course, not before.  Media monitoring must therefore be supplemented with reliable local sources. 

To that end, the second branch will supplement media monitoring through the collection of field reports, expert analyses (local and international), and opinions from governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental institutions in country.  To save time, if required, oral interviews could be conducted in country, or standardized surveys conducted.  SIPRI (Stockholm International Peace Research Institute) is currently working on an interesting internet-based model for this that allows registered in-country experts to fill out a monthly survey on the domestic situation.  This could serve to speed up the data collection process and facilitate research.  Their model could be of particular use for this purpose, though it requires access to the internet, something not necessarily feasible outside the capital, Dili.  Local reports will be used to interpret media monitoring as well as provide situational analyses on local events that go unreported.  Resources to be considered here should at minimum include: UNOTIL reports, situational reports from the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG), other in-country UN agency reports, the CCA report from 2000, inter-governmental agency reports (e.g. World Bank reports), local expert reports, central statistics office reports and assessments, human rights coverage (national and international), police crime data, and reports from NGO representatives operating around the country.  An added benefit of utilizing local resources and actors is to raise their awareness, ultimately with the goal of building local conflict prevention capacities through continued involvement in the system.

The third prong deals with survey data collected from civilians around the country.  The data collected periodically will demonstrate what those actually ‘living the situation’ feel is most important, or most threatening, to them.  This will expand upon issues noted by the media and local experts, giving them a distinctly grassroots touch; those passing through a region with note pads or sitting in Dili are not necessarily the best judges of citizen concerns on the ‘front-lines’.  There are some caveats to this kind of survey work.  For example, if villagers already feeling threatened were seen talking to the UNDP or other officials conducting the survey, it is highly likely they either would not answer honestly, and/or fear the wrath of those implicated by their survey responses.  According to those implementing the UNDP EWS Kosovo, they experienced this problem with their Serb sub-sample.  They overcame it by subcontracting a Serb NGO to gather data in these regions. The UNDP EWS Programme Analyst Mytaher Haskuka stated:

“if you have subgroups that do not trust current govern[ment]/inst[itutions], try to engage a local NGO.  [S]urveys should be conducted by local organizations if necessary for each ethnicity/ group a different one."

The Programme Analyst further noted that beginning in Kosovo, 2001, there were many concerns over how people would react to ‘interviewing’ itself; considering the only ‘interviews’ conducted were those done by the police in pre-conflict Kosovo, people were afraid to respond and cooperate.  They solved this problem with a very precise introduction stating the survey was confidential, conducted for overall opinions, and that the information collected was to be analysed for the whole population, not for individuals.  She further remarked on the importance of properly worded questions and the necessity of engaging experts to prepare the first questionnaire to ensure this proper wording.  While Timor-Leste is a very different environment than Kosovo, the lessons learned can inform the Timorese EWS, namely by emphasizing the importance of distancing the UNDP from the actual surveying process (e.g. employing a local NGO to do it) and ensuring the survey itself is carefully structured and worded; this expertise is essential as to have a 'feel' or a proper understanding for how people will react is key to a good survey.

The final prong in the information gathering stage of the EWS system is a more complete analysis of all country indicators.  A CIFP framework diagnostic of the country utilizes all the information gathered in the previous three prongs, combining them to generate a solid, crosscutting categorical platform to help bridge the gap between early warning and early response on the policy scene.  The ease with which a CIFP report may be read will facilitate international policy maker decision-making processes when deciding upon foreign policy actions. 

An additional source for information, but likely not a key system component, are UNMOs (United Nations Military Observers) who are generally stationed in conflict areas for the specific purpose of observing the situation.  Their job is to get to know the local parties and gather information from them to be conveyed to field mission headquarters, and ultimately to New York for analysis.  If the information gathered by UNMOs could be shared with the EWS analysts, it could potentially be a fantastic source of up to the minute intelligence.  There are some problems with this approach however:  first one must consider how they gather information (which may or may not be through direct observation and subject to manipulation by various parties on the ground), that they bring their own prejudices to a given situation, the information must be transmitted to EWS staff (meaning either simultaneously or after it has been transmitted and edited by Command), and actual UNMO capacity to collect this information may be inadequate.  Some opinions raise serious concerns about the quality of their work.   Further, one must consider whether they want the EWS report associated with the military; this on its own could detract from the perceived impartiality of the report.  Generally speaking, information gathered by UNMOs may differ significantly from that gathered by an NGO operating in the same area. This is not necessarily a negative point, but their reports should be interpreted in a different light than NGO reports as they are geared toward military action.  In the words of a UNDP Kosovo EWS Programme Analyst:

[I]n Kosovo we have [an] opportunistic approach[;] more data from different sources [the] higher the credibility and [the] better the analysis. The critical issue here is not to relay to single source and to crosscheck the data. … MO's can be prejudiced while local sources can favor one group or opinion[,]thus selecting credible local partners is critical.

While potentially a valuable source of up to the minute information, these issues must be taken into account before UNMO-relayed information is accepted. 

The overall result of the four-pronged EWS for Timor-Leste will be an integrated detection resource base, accessible by all interested parties.  The cross-cutting character of the information gathered grants a more holistic and up to the minute picture than any single portion of the monitoring system alone, granting a pertinent outlook based on grassroots information, formal analytical views, the media, and local experts /organizations.  This will facilitate policy formation for international/national early response initiatives.

There are two options concerning what to do with EWS findings, each based on the findings themselves.  One is to circulate the EWS Timor-Leste findings around concerned international and domestic communities.  The existence of an interested audience is a consideration here.  As noted by UNDP Kosovo EWS staff:

our readers were, in the early days at least, mostly international agencies, as I remember we did eventually target the government to encourage them to read it, but it is important to remember that very often government can be just overloaded  with reports.

If there is no general consensus regarding the importance of conflict prevention in a target country (or no interest) a self-sustaining system similar to that set up by the UNDP Bulgaria EWS team may be preferable.  The UNDP in Bulgaria established a web portal on which reports based on data collected are assembled and made available to the public.  Plans call for the site to require paid subscription for access, generating a modest local revenue stream for local analysts and staff, helping the system become self-sustaining.  While a paid service is perhaps not feasible in Timor-Leste because of the smaller interested constituency, it is definitely an idea to be borne in mind when establishing similar systems elsewhere. Even though there may be no urgent need for action, the EWS could be implemented as a CIFP-type system, allowing other actors to use it as an indicator to inform foreign or domestic policy. 

A ‘conflict scale’ must also be established to identify the size and type of intervention necessary for specific even.  When an EWS report points to an impending conflict breakout on a scale sufficient enough to warrant broad based action, the second option is to put the EWS report to direct use, as described below in Step 3. 

The next phase after the EWS Report is issued is to identify the local groups that fit desired criteria and are capable of contributing to an early response.  The identification process should be undertaken before, or concurrently with, the EWS to ensure a timely response to the first report should it be necessary.  In Timor-Leste, there is no shortage of local groups that might be considered, given the vibrant NGO and civil society community (the World Bank NGO database, ‘FONGTIL’ lists 385 local NGOs as operating and registered in-country).   

It is very likely that some (or many) of the organizations and groups included in STEP 2 of the EWS will also be those best suited to participate in an early response, further reducing the gap between early warning and early response and smoothing implementation.

To actually establish a range of actors/stakeholders with intersecting interests, a planning process must be implemented; FEWER’s ‘roundtable format’ is one way to do this, and is similar to the approach used in the UNDP Kosovo EWS which uses focus groups.  The FEWER ‘roundtable’ format has the specific objectives of deepening the analysis of EWS reports, helping to develop integrated strategic action plans in response to conflict (or a deteriorating situation that could result in conflict), and to create a forum where ownership of plans and analyses among key stakeholders is created. 

According to Nyheim, roundtable workshop participant selection should include a survey of conflict prevention capacities of key actors in the region in terms of agendas, policies, programs/projects, decision-making processes, and decision makers.  Any survey should include those already involved in EWS report production and data gathering.  He notes that FEWER experience has shown that surveys need to cover:

1. Regional, power-brokering, or interested governments (Indonesia, Australia, United States, Canada)
2. Intergovernmental, and local actors (E.g. World Bank, Governmental aid organizations)
3. Regional institutions (E.g. ASEAN, the Asian Development Bank)
4. Local and International NGOs and Church organizations (given the strength of the Catholic Church in Timor-Leste).
5. Indonesian NGOs in particular should be included as some border issues originate in West Timor.

The surveys are critical for numerous reasons.  Surveys:

1. Set the stage for cooperation and coordination among varied actors while outlining their relative strengths
2. Stimulate interest in the roundtable meetings and process as a whole
3. Enable organizers to identify ideal participants and avoid wasting time by seating incapable actors at the roundtable
4. Establish preliminary feasible responses (local, regional, international) for the area in question
5. Identify actual or potential spoilers in the attempt to include them in the process

An important point to keep in mind when preparing these surveys is language.  Even preliminary work to determine which groups are to receive surveys must be conducted in multiple languages.  Something as simple as perusing websites cannot be done solely in English; while some organizations have English speakers on their staff, their websites (if they even have one) are not necessarily for the international Anglophone community, but for locals.  Thus many websites are available only in Tetum (Timorese), Bahasa Indonesia, and some in cases, Portuguese.  It is therefore crucial to generate a survey in at least these four languages to ensure all recipients fully comprehend, and can therefore respond as accurately and completely as possible.  Further, considering many may not operate websites, the Internet must not be the only search vehicle for participants, but rather part of a battery.

Once roundtable participants have been chosen based on survey result, a meeting will be called. The FEWER roundtable framework advocates a sensible integrated three-tiered approach to roundtable meetings.  The first of three separate roundtable meetings shall consist of a broad ‘coalition of the willing’.  It should be comprised of local actors and organizations, national and international NGOs, and both national and international government officials.  The agenda will be based on the findings of the first EWS report, forming the core of a broad strategic action plan.  This should include:  problem definition, possible stabilizing factors, capacity assessment, actual response selection, implementation method, and finally monitoring and evaluation methods (monitoring and evaluation may be left to a later date if the situation is deemed urgent).  Key considerations should include the current situation on the ground (is it urgent or is there time to spare?), the necessity/availability of funding, a timeframe for decided upon rough activities to be carried out, and various procedural issues for further meetings. 

The second roundtable group will be presented with the findings and rough plan generated by the first.  Participants should include potential donors for preventative action/diplomacy (including any who participated in the first roundtable) and other interested international actors and NGOs.  It should also contain willing and capable parties who may provide the incentives to back up structural arrangements, distributive, symbolic rewards, or punishments to encourage target groups to shift priorities in a desired direction.  The broad focus of the second roundtable is to evaluate the action plan devised in the first roundtable in terms of what is needed against what resources the participants (e.g. the donors/incentive providers) are able, or willing, to provide.  Otherwise stated, the second workshop’s main function is to match demand with available supply, and/or fine-tune a proposed plan of action to bring it in-line with financial reality while broadly garnering political support for the plan. 

The final roundtable should draw all participants from the previous two.  Roundtable two’s findings, modifications, and the available financial support for the plan should be presented.  Modifications should be worked through by the workshop as a team.  This last stage gives final ownership of the plan to all participants, and thus accountability, legitimacy, and final validation of the plan as a whole.  Full implementation of the plan should be discussed at this phase, though precise details may be worked out subsequently.

Some overarching concerns over roundtables expressed by FEWER members include the possible need for preparatory trust building among parties (for Timor-Leste this may be necessary between some government officials and NGO representatives; some may view each other as mutually antagonistic) and strong workshop leadership by a trusted party.  Impartial powerbrokers or respected personalities would likely be able to accomplish this; persons such as Nobel Prize winner Jose Ramos Horta, President and former guerrilla leader Xanana Gusmão, the Special Representative to the Secretary General, or perhaps the heads of large, well-respected aid or development organizations like the UNDP.  Through these workshops, local participant groups will begin to gain the skills necessary to conduct preventative action on their own; those groups participating in both the EWS and subsequent roundtables will likely have developed significant skills in this area.  Some UNDP EWS projects around the Balkans have created locally run EWS indicator databases that are then marketed to the general public and can be used to generate income for those working on the project with mixed, but positive results (see Bulgaria).

The following is a non-exhaustive demonstrative list of various potential implementing partners that ought to be considered for EWS and roundtable participation.  Including all possible groups is neither desirable, nor likely feasible as the result would be a group so large as to be unmanageable in terms of agreement and action.

1 La'o Hamutuk:   (Literally:  Walk with Me- Timor-Leste Institute for Reconstruction Monitoring and Analysis) Strong local NGO              with a nationwide presence.  Very well respected and very active on many issues.
2 Progressio: International community level Catholic group.  Tapped into Catholic community across country.
3 International Federation for East Timor (IFET) & East Timor Action Network (ETAN): US based Timor Rights group,          advocating Timorese freedom since the 1970’s; conducts media monitoring, issues reports, and monitors human rights in country.
4 Perkumpulan HAK: Association for Law, Human Rights and Justice; monitoring and report writing; strong nationwide presence.
5 TAPOL the Indonesian Human Rights Campaign: Human rights monitoring all over Indonesia, has presence in West Timor.
6 The Asia Foundation: Large international NGO; produces significant number of in country reports, used by academics and policy makers.  Active across Timor-Leste with significant cross category links and partnerships; their links may be used to identify more local implementing partners (for example: Fundacão Fatu Sinai Oecussi (FFSO), Peace and Democracy Foundation (PDF-founded by Foreign Minister Jose Ramos Horta) and the Kefa Repatriation Support Group (KRSG), a local NGO in West Timor).  The Asia Foundation is already undertaking cross border dialogues to prevent border conflict. 
7 Judicial System Monitoring Programme (JSMP): monitors courts and justice system, including traditional justice, and graft in the formal system.  Dili based and publishes very highly respected reports in the four main languages.
8 Other NGOs with a strong presence: Oxfam Australia; Caritas Australia; CARE; Catholic Relief Services (CRS); Concern; Timor Aid; World  Vision
9ACNielsen in Jakarta & Charney Research:  Charney Research in New York and AC Nielsen in Jakarta are two sizeable, international polling firms that have prior experience conducting surveys in Timor-Leste, and are therefore logical candidates for the survey aspect of this EWS; they are by no means the only choice however.(see endnote for sample survey work).

A preliminary list of NGO implementing partners can be found in country database maintained by the World Bank.  It contains both local and international NGO descriptions and contact information.  While the listings are dated (2005), and many more organizations have arrived while others have left in reaction to shifting country programs focuses, it is still a good place to start looking for NGO partners. 

It is useful to classify NGOs using four categories: 1. Humanitarian NGOs; 2. Human Rights NGOs; 3. Civil Society NGOs; 4. Conflict Resolution NGOs.  It should be remembered when seeking NGO partners that different types of NGOs have individual strengths and weaknesses.  Therefore, depending on the nature of the activity required, specific NGOs should be chosen; for example, according to Aall, an NGO that is not carefully chosen may end up carrying out its activities in a manner seen as biased, actually contributing to a conflict situation rather than preventing one. 

Church & Other Informal
1. Catholic Church:  This organization wields enormous normative power in Timor-Leste and significant influence through strong leadership with the population.  The church ‘flexed its muscles’ by organizing huge anti-government protests in Dili during April and May of 2005.  Religion is a unifying thread for the nation and should not be omitted from either the monitoring effort or roundtable process considering
2. Clandestino Networks: During the occupation clandestine information networks were formed.  Despite having been mostly dismantled under UNTAET, it is likely that some still exist.  Identifying and making contact with them will require local knowledge and will not be easy –if they still exist.  The reward of detailed information may be worth the effort however

National Organizations
1. Veteran’s Association: By co-opting the veterans group, detailed information regarding grievances can be gained

2. Provedor Geral: The newly established Procurador’s office (similar to an Ombudsman) has the power to investigate and make non-binding recommendations to government and request the Constitutionality of given legislation/regulations.  The office still needs training, as the recent mass military dismissal was precisely the kind of counter-government complaint the Procurador’s office was created to deal with

3. Chefe de Suco: Below the district division level, there are 442 Suco or villages headed by a Chefe de Suco or village chiefs in Timor-Leste. This was a traditional structure used by the Portuguese and reinforced by the Council for National Timorese Resistance (CNRT) during the independence struggle and immediate post-independence period.  Almost of all East Timorese, perhaps excluding recent internal migrants, can name their Chefe de Suco and talk of a paternalistic relationship with them.  While clearly not feasible to involve all 442 Chefes in the roundtables, they would certainly be able to provide detailed local information and be possible action partners for roundtable resolutions.

4. Ministry of the Interior - The Ministry of Interior is responsible for maintaining law and order in the country. It regulates the working of various police branches, and is therefore a vital participant

5. PNTL & F-FDTL: While both are ultimately controlled by the Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of Defence, they are implicated in some of the underlying problems in the country, and it would be unwise to leave either security agency outside the entire process; in other words, they are potential spoilers

6. Parliament/Parliamentary Committees: It would be wise to include an aspect of government capable of making concrete action-based recommendations (as opposed to the Provedor’s non-binding recommendations) should government action, especially for changes to disputed legislation

International Organizations
1. Governments & Regional Organizations:  The Australian and Indonesian governments are obvious choices.  The ASEAN group may also be involved.

2. International Aid Agencies: AusAID and USAID are the largest donors.  CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) is another logical choice given the project’s fit with current Canadian policy; as are the EU, Portugal, and NZAID.  The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is also active in the country.

3. World Bank/IMF/Asia Development Bank:  All three groups have significant investments in Timor-Leste and are therefore key stakeholders.  They are also potential large scale donors.

4. Other UN Agencies:  World Food Programme (WFP); International Labour Organisation; United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF); United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA); United Nations Population Fund - (UNFPA); United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF); World Food Programme (WFP); World Health Organisation (WHO); all these organizations are represented in Timor-Leste.

5. SRSG: The Special Representative of the Secretary General should be involved in the initial phases.  While the UN mission to Timor-Leste is not permanent, the SRSG’s participation in the process will lend it credibility and lead participants to take the process to be both serious and meaningful.

Deciding on how to implement this project is the final task.  While the UNDP will have the lead role in coordinating the project, a few things should be borne in mind. 

First, the goal of building local actor capacity should be at the forefront.  Local groups and actors should be given significant roles in carrying out decisions while the UNDP increasingly grants greater control and autonomy in subsequent phases (this is a four-phased project).  Each phase will be built on the lessons learned from the last, and culminate with a market-oriented component to ‘sell’ the information generated to local and international actors and stakeholders alike.  That said, the building of local capacity through this project so it may be continued locally without outside help is a major objectives along with preventing conflict. 

Second, choosing the right implementing partner to collect, correlate, and write reports based on the monitoring data is a key concern to be addressed before commencing the monitoring.  While this will ultimately be determined by those implementing the project in-country, lessons learned by the UNDP in Kosovo show that a strong organization with the necessary analytical skills in statistics and writing is crucial to producing a usable final product.

Third, the UNDP and other large aid agencies exercising control and ownership of this project may lead to editorial control over content and response.  The EWS system may therefore not be as 'hard-hitting' as it might be in the absence of political constraints.  For example, if it were shown that the actions of a large donor country were exacerbating a conflict or causing one, it is likely a large state-run aid agency from that country would not want to see the home country implicated, and could stifle that aspect of the work.  Ultimately, little can be done without autonomous funding control.  It may be possible for an implementing partner to release the EWS report publicly before editorial discretion is exercised, but this depends on contractual stipulations and would cause problems.  An overly muted EWS report, however, is potentially more dangerous than no report at all because of the false sense of security it provides. 

By making use of NGOs in the implementation process, governmental agency foot-dragging can be gotten around as well.  According to Aall, their relative weakness is paradoxically one of their strengths, as they can offer safe spaces for antagonists to meet and discuss issues, and can augment Track 1 peace processes by building support in the larger community.  NGO use may also get around the self-censorship issue noted above to some degree. 

Lastly, perhaps the most important implementation consideration is culture.  The traditional problem of cross cultural interaction for conflict prevention discussed at length by many experts, such as Abu-Nimer in his article on the role of religion and culture in peacebuilding, and may be present to some degree in Timor-Leste.  A more likely problem is the cross-cultural divide between those responding and those receiving agreed upon strategies; the cultural gap between those attempting to implement and those on the receiving end may be significant.  Ideas do not necessarily translate well across inter-cultural situations.  The Timorese culture is conservative.  Village elders are considered ‘captains of their own ships’.  Outside interference must therefore be undertaken very carefully in the Timorese context as it may be resented and rejected immediately, making the entire process a wasted effort.  Failing to follow cultural protocol and not showing the proper respect when treating with village leaders could doom a strategy to failure before even begun.  Knowledge of the local culture is therefore key, again highlighting first, the need for local involvement in some form for the implementation process, and second, the need for a strong implementation partner for this step of the process.   

The anticipated benefits and therefore objectives of the Timor-Leste EWS are:

1. To prevent conflict in Timor-Leste
2. To generate reports upon which policy may be formulated
3. To help bridge the gap between early warning and early response
4. To build capacity among local analysts and groups to cooperate and foresee potential crisis
5. To build this capacity in a manner so the project becomes locally self-sustaining and gives a sense of ownership to the local.
6. Ultimately to help assist the government in identifying and addressing problems areas that may arise to destabilize the country

The point of this brief outline of a Timorese EWS is not to establish the framework for implementation, but rather is meant to survey the reasons why one should be established, various ways in which information gathering may be conducted, methods for translating EWS reports into early response, sampling some possible actors, and finally some concrete considerations for actually implementing policy based on EWS roundtable decisions.  The program itself meshes nicely with the UNDP’s three focus area and local capacity building project; local conflict prevention capacity is one of the keys to sustainable development for a post-conflict country.

Even if none of the suggestions is followed, it is hoped this project paper will raise the consciousness of the UNDP in Timor-Leste, first of the EWS systems already in use by the UNDP office in the South East Europe Regional Office, and second, that it may be time to consider undertaking a similar project in Timor-Leste, perhaps across the region.  There are other locales in the South Pacific that might benefit from a successful Timorese example; in Indonesia, some are calling West Papua “the next East Timor”; Sulawesi province continues to suffer violent breakouts, the Southern Philippine islands are simmering, and Papua New Guinea is already a borderline failed state.  The time to implement EWSs is sooner rather than later as it is much cheaper to prevent a conflict rather than to clean up after it.


Appendix 1: Comprehensive Timeline for Timor-Leste

1600s - Portuguese invade Timor, set up trading post and use island as source of sandalwood.

1749 - Timor split following battle between Portuguese and Dutch. Portuguese take the eastern half.

1942 - Japanese invade, fighting battles with Australian troops. Up to 60,000 East Timorese are killed. Japan in control until 1945.

1960 – “Timor and dependencies” are added to the United Nations’ list of non-self-governing territories. East Timor is administered by Portugal as an overseas province.

1974 – Anti-Fascist revolution in Portugal leads to promise to free colonies, encouraging parties to prepare for new future.  Portugal acknowledges the applicability of the United Nations Charter provisions regarding non-self-governing territories and the right of the colonial territories under its administration, including East Timor, to self-determination, including independence.

August 1975 - Portuguese administration withdraws to offshore island of Atauro.

1975 – Violent clashes erupt between groups favouring independence and those favouring integration with Indonesia.

October 1975 - Five foreign journalists killed along border with West Timor, allegedly by Indonesian troops.

November 1975 - After brief civil war, Fretilin (Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor) declares East Timor independent.

December 1975 - Indonesia invades, using its fight against communism as a pretext. It annexes territory as its 27th province – East Nusa Tenggara –a move never recognised by the UN.  Australia is eventually the only country to do so.  Strong resistance to Indonesian rule followed by repression and famine in which 200,000 people are thought to have died.   Genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes are alleged against the TNI (Tentara Nasional Indonesia- Indonesian Military).

1981 - Xanana Gusmão becomes leader of Falintil (Armed Forces of National Liberation of East Timor), the armed wing of Fretilin.

1982 – The UN Secretary-General begins informal consultations with the Governments of Indonesia and Portugal in an attempt to resolve East Timor’s status.

1991 - Santa Cruz cemetery massacre in which troops fire on mourners at a funeral in Dili of Fretilin supporter, killing more than 100 people.  Max Stahl captures scene on camera, hiding the tape in a grave being detained and beaten.

1992 - Setback for the resistance as Gusmão is captured near Dili. In 1993 he is convicted of subversion and given a life sentence which is later reduced.

1993 - Groups of East Timorese enter foreign embassies in Jakarta over the next few years seeking political asylum.

1995 - 20th anniversary of the Indonesian invasion marked by protest by 112 East Timorese and sympathisers who enter Russian and Dutch embassies in Jakarta.

1996 - Acting Bishop of Dili, Carlos Belo, and resistance leader Jose Ramos Horta jointly awarded Nobel Peace Prize, raising international awareness of the East Timorese independence struggle.

1998 - Indonesian President Suharto resigns. Replaced by Habibie who suggests territory may be given special status within Indonesia.

June 1998 – Indonesia’s President BJ Habibie proposes autonomy for East Timor on condition that the territory accepts integration into Indonesia. The proposal is rejected by East Timorese resistance leaders.

August to October 1998 – UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the Foreign Ministers of Indonesia and Portugal hold in-depth discussions on Indonesia’s proposals for a special status based on wide ranging autonomy for East Timor.

27 January 1999 – In a public statement, Indonesia’s President Habibie indicates that his Government might be prepared to consider independence for East Timor. Talks begin at UN Headquarters in New York.

February-April 1999 - Gusmão moved from Jakarta prison to house arrest. In response to increasing violence by anti-independence activists, Gusmão orders guerrillas to resume independence struggle.

11 March 1999 – In tripartite talks between the UN, Indonesia and Portugal in New York, agreement is reached on the use of a direct ballot, which would allow East Timorese to either accept or reject the autonomy proposal.

5 May 1999 – Portugal, Indonesia and the United Nations concluded a historic set of agreements intended to resolve the long-standing issue of Timor-Leste. Under the 5 May Agreements, the UN Secretary-General was requested to determine, through a Popular Consultation, whether the people of this territory would accept or reject a proposed special autonomy for Timor-Leste within the unitary of Indonesia.

1 June 1999 – The newly appointed Special Representative of the Secretary-General in East Timor, Ian Martin, arrives in Dili.

11 June 1999 – The UN Security Council established the United Nations Mission in East Timor (UNAMET), which was charged with organizing and conducting the Popular Consultation. It registered 451,792 voters in the country and abroad, in a registration process which the Electoral Commission, a body composed of three independent commissioners, deemed to be a sound basis for conducting the consultation.

23 June 1999 – Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, decides to delay the vote in Timor by two weeks because of unabated violence and logistical problems. As a result, the registration process is delayed until 13 July to allow more time for the deployment of UN staff throughout the Territory as well as to give Indonesia extra time to address the pending security concerns.

5 August 1999 – Voter registration closes.

26 August 1999 – The Security Council extends the mandate of UNAMET until 30 November 1999.

29 August 1999 – One the eve of the Popular Consultation, the Secretary-General issues an appeal to the people of East Timor, calling on all sides to “live up to their responsibilities before history”.

30 August 1999 – Labelled a “show of courage and determination”, the people of Timor-Leste turned out in massive numbers to vote in the Popular Consultation. UNAMET announces that at least 95 per cent of registered voters – a total of more than 430,000 - cast their ballots in the Popular Consultation.

3 September 1999 – The result of the vote of the Popular Consultation in Timor-Leste is announced. An overwhelming 78.5 per cent (344,580) of the population voted in favour of independence, whilst 21.5 per cent (94,388) preferring autonomy. Following the announcement of the result, pro-integration militias, with the active support of the Indonesian Military and Kopassus (Secret Service) launch a campaign of violence, looting and arson throughout the Territory.  

The UN Security Council calls on the Government of Indonesia to take urgent steps and prevent further violence in accordance with its responsibility for maintaining peace and security under the Agreements of 5 May. Many East Timorese were killed in the violence and an estimated 500,000 of the Territory’s 800,000 population were forced from their homes. Nearly all infrastructure was either damaged or completely destroyed. UNAMET undertook a partial evacuation of both its international local staff, including their immediate families, to Australia.

5 September 1999 – The UN Secretary-General seeks urgent action by Indonesia to quell the violence within a certain time frame or secure the Indonesian Government’s agreement to urgently deploy an international security force.

10 September 1999 – As lawlessness increases in East Timor, militia members threaten to invade the UN compound in the capital Dili. Again, the Secretary-General urges the Indonesian Government to accept the offer of assistance from several countries, including Australia, New Zealand, the Philippines and Malaysia, “without further delay”. Kofi Annan stated that if the Government of Indonesia refuses to act, it cannot escape the responsibility for “what could amount, according to reports reaching us, to crimes against humanity”.

12 September 1999 – Following the visit by a Security Council mission dispatched to Jakarta and Dili, the Government of Indonesia agreed to accept the offer of assistance from the international community. The Security Council authorizes a multinational force (INTERFET) to be sent to East Timor, under a unified command structure headed by Australia.

INTERFET was charged with restoring peace and security in East Timor, to protect and support UNAMET in carrying out its tasks, and within force capabilities, facilitate humanitarian assistance operations. At this time, the organizations of the United Nations system began a large-scale emergency humanitarian relief effort, including air-drops of food, aid convoys and the provision of shelter and other basic services. Increased attention was also being given to the voluntary repatriation of an estimated 250,000 East Timorese from West Timor and other areas in Indonesia and the region.

28 September 1999 – At a meeting at UN Headquarters, Indonesia and Portugal reiterate their commitment for the transfer of authority in East Timor to the United Nations. They also agree that ad hoc measures are required to fill the gap created by the early departure of the 8,000 Indonesian civil servants, who occupied all senior and middle management positions in East Timor.

19 October 1999 – The Indonesian People’s Consultative Assembly formally recognizes the result of the Popular Consultation.

25 October 1999 – Through resolution 1272, the UN Security Council establishes the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) as an integrated, multi-dimensional peacekeeping operation responsible for the administration of East Timor during its transition to independence.

UNTAET consisted of three main components: governance and public administration; civilian police of up to 1,640 officers and an armed UN peacekeeping force of 8,950 troops and 200 military observers; and humanitarian assistance and emergency rehabilitation.

27 October 1999 - To finance the relief effort, a Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for US$199-million was launched.

1 November 1999 – The last Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) leave East Timor.

17 November 1999 – The newly appointed Special Representative of the Secretary-General in East Timor and Transitional Administrator, Sergio Vieira de Mello, takes his duties.

22 November 1999 – SRSG Vieira de Mello travels to West Timor to witness the signing of an agreement between INTERFET and the Indonesian Armed Forces aimed at fast tracking the return of refugees from West Timor. UNHCR reports that despite continued threat and harassment by the militia, more than 90,000 refugees have returned home to East Timor.

2 December 1999 – The SRSG establishes the National Consultative Council (NCC), a political body consisting of 11 East Timorese and four UNTAET members charged with overseeing the decision-making process during the transition period leading to independence.

17 December 1999 – A United Nations donor conference is held in Tokyo and some US$500 is pledged by Member States to help rebuild East Timor.

17 February 2000 – The UN Secretary-General arrives in East Timor for a two-day visit.

23 February 2000 – Marking the complete deployment of UNTAET, command of military operations is transferred from INTERFET to the United Nations Peacekeeping Force.

29 February 2000 – Indonesia’s President, Abdurrahman Wahid, visits East Timor.

11 April 2000 – UNTAET and the Commander of the Indonesian army in West Timor sign a Memorandum of Understanding covering security, boundary crossing, the passage of refugees and the provision of humanitarian assistance along the border between East and West Timor.

20 June 2000 – The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other aid organizations suspend activities in three camps in West Timor following threats and intimidation against staff by militia groups.

21 June 2000 – UNTAET and the National Council of East Timorese Resistance (CNRT) reach agreement on a new composition and structure for the NCC. The newly expanded NCC will have 33 members. The members include 13 representatives from the districts, seven from CNRT and three representatives from other political parties.

12 July 2000 – The NCC adopts a regulation establishing a Transitional Cabinet comprised of four East Timorese and four UNTAET representatives.

12 July 2000 – The first 50 graduates of East Timor’s Police Training College officially take up their functions as police officers.

27 July 2000 – The UN suffers its first combat-related death of a UN peacekeeper in East Timor. A soldier from UNTAET’s New Zealand contingent is killed during an exchange of gunfire with an armed group near the border of West Timor.

10 August 2000 – A second UN peacekeeper is killed. A soldier from UNTAET’s Nepalese contingent is killed during an exchange of fire with militia in Suai, close to the border with West Timor.

6 September 2000 - Three employees of the UN High Commissioner for Refugee (UNHCR) are killed by pro-Indonesian militia gangs in Atambua, West Timor. Following the attack, the UN decides to evacuate all staff from West Timor and suspends all humanitarian efforts in the region.

8 September 2000 – The UN Security Council responds to the deteriorating security situation in West Timor by adopting resolution 1319 and calling on Indonesia to take immediate steps to disarm and disband militia immediately.

12 September 2000 – The East Timor Transitional Cabinet approves the creation of an East Timor Defence Force consisting of 1500 troops drawn from the ranks for the former pro-independence guerilla force FALINTIL and supplemented by a reserve of equal number.

11 December 2000 – The first indictment containing charges of “crimes against humanity” committed in East Timor is filed.

13 December 2000 – The East Timor Transitional Cabinet agrees to a proposal to establish a Commission for Truth, Reception and Reconciliation.

31 January 2001 – The UN Security Council extends of the mandate of UNTAET until 31 January 2002.

16 March 2001 – The SRSG announces that the first democratic election in East Timor will be held on 30 August 2001 after the signing the Regulation on the Election of a Constituent Assembly.

4 May 2001 – The North Jakarta District Court sentences six men to between 10 and 20 months in jail for their roles in the killings of three UNHCR staff in Atambua, West Timor in September 2000. Kofi Annan is angered by the light sentences handed out and calls them “a wholly unacceptable response”.

3 July 2001 – A milestone was reached when representatives of the Transitional Administration and Australia initialed the Timor Sea Arrangement. The Agreement gives East Timor 90 per cent of the revenues from the oil and gas reserves in the Timor Sea.

30 August 2001 – A staggering 91 per cent of the electorate voted to elect a Constituent Assembly. Twenty seven per cent of the 88-member Constituent Assembly is made up of women. The Constituent Assembly was charged with producing a new Constitution.

6 September 2001- Fretilin is declared the winning party with 57.3 per cent of the vote in East Timor’s Constituent Assembly elections, or 55 seats.

20 September 2001 – Twenty-four members of the new East Timorese Council of Ministers of the Second Transitional Government are sworn into office. The new Council replaces the Transitional Cabinet created in 2000.

January 2002 - Truth and reconciliation commission (CAVR) opens to try and heal wounds of past.

January 2002 - Indonesia inaugurates human rights court to hold military accountable for atrocities in East Timor after 1999 independence vote.

31 January 2002 – The Security Council unanimously adopts resolution 1392 extending the mandate of UNTAET until 20 May 2002.

February 2002 - East Timor assembly approves draft constitution envisaging government run along parliamentary lines.

February 2002 - East Timor and Indonesia sign two agreements aimed at easing relations.

22 March 2002 – East Timor’s Constituent Assembly signs into force the Territory’s first Constitution.

14 April 2002 – Former guerilla fighter and independence leader, Xanana Gusmão, becomes the first president-elect of Timor-Leste after a landslide victory. Mr Gusmão received 82.7 per cent of the 378,548 ballots cast in the election. His opponent, Francisco Xavier do Amaral, gained just 17.3 per cent of the votes.

17 May 2002 - The UN Security Council unanimously adopts resolution 1410 calling for the United Missions in Support of East Timor (UNMISET) - a successor mission - to be deployed in Timor-Leste following the end of UNTAET’s mandate.

20 May 2002 – East Timor is independent. The United Nations formally handed over administration to the democratically elected government.

In a ceremony attended by tens of thousands of East Timorese as well as high-level representatives from some 90 countries, the United Nations, which helped to steer this small island nation to statehood, handed over administration to the newly democratically elected government. After more than 400 years of occupation, Timor-Leste finally became independent. Xanana Gusmão, the landslide winner of the 14 April Presidential election, would head this newly independent nation.

20 May 2002 - Timor-Leste swears in its first government and holds an inaugural session of Parliament. East Timor has an official change of name. This new country will now be known as Timor-Leste.

20 May 2002 - UNMISET was established for an initial period of 12-months with the mandate of providing assistance to core administrative structures critical to the viability and political stability of Timor-Leste; to provide interim law enforcement and public security as well as to assist in development Timor-Leste’s police service; and contribute to the maintenance of the new country’s external and internal security. UNMISET was to be headed by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Timor-Leste, Mr Kamalesh Sharma (India).

31 May 2002 - UNMISET hands over control of Timor’s public radio and television to the Government.

14 June 2002 - The UN Secretary-General appoints Dr Sukehiro Hasegawa as his Deputy Special Representative in Timor-Leste.

27 September 2002 – More than three years after the Timorese people voted to begin the process of independence from Indonesia, the United Nations General Assembly admits Timor-Leste as the youngest and 191st Member State of the UN.

4 December 2002 - UN troops and police called in to restore peace order in the capital Dili following a violent demonstration involving more than 600 people. One student died and stores and hotels were looted and burnt down.

9 May 2003 - The Security Council extends the mandate of UNMISET for another year until 20 May 2004.

20 May 2003 - Timor-Leste celebrates its first anniversary of independence.

23 June 2003 - Sandra Peisley – the first female UN Police Commissioner – assumes her functions in Timor-Leste.

16 September 2003 - UN Police (UNPOL) handover policing responsibilities to Timor-Leste’s national police force, Policia Nacional de Timor-Leste (PNTL), in Baucau. Baucau is the 12th district to be handed over from UNPOL to PNTL. Only Dili District remains under UNPOL.

10 December 2003 - Human Rights Day and UNPOL handover responsibility for day-to-day policing in Dili District to PNTL. Dili District is the 13th and last district to be handed over to PNTL, who now have complete responsibility for general policing throughout the country.

January 2004 - Portugal announces $63m (50m euros) aid package.

February 2004 - Production at offshore gasfield begins; Bayu Undan project is expected to earn $100m a year.

14 May 2004 - The Security Council decides unanimously to extend the mandate of UNMISET for another six months. Security Council resolution 1453 also stipulates a reduction in the size of the mission, greater emphasis on training and advisory services, as well as a phasing of UNMISET by May 2005.

19 May 2004 - UNMISET hands over all policing and external security to the Government of Timor-Leste.

24 May 2004 - UN Secretary-General names Dr Sukehiro Hasegawa as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General and head of the UN Mission in Support of East Timor.

11 July 2004 - The first census of Timor-Leste is carried out under the guidance of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

23 August 2004 - UN Secretary-General calls on Member States to ensure that the 279 people, who were indicted for their involvement in the violence that struck Timor after the Popular Consultation and who are living outside of the country, are not given impunity.

23 August 2004 - UN Secretary-General commends Timor-Leste on significant progress made towards self-sufficiency in administration and security but tells international community that further assistance is needed.

September 2004 - The Governments of Timor-Leste and Australia to begin negotiations on delimiting a maritime border concerning oil and gas fields in the Timor Sea.

14 September 2004 - results from Timor-Leste’s first census are released. The country’s total population stands at 924,642.

November 2004 - End of two-year process under which 18 people were tried by Indonesian court for human rights abuses in East Timor during 1999 independence drive. Only one conviction - that of militia leader Eurico Guterres - is left standing.

April 2005 - East Timor, Indonesia sign landmark border agreement during Indonesian President Yudhoyono's first visit to Dili since coming to power.

20 May 2005 - The UN's peacekeeping force pulls out of East Timor.

1 June 2005 - The last of Australia's peacekeepers leave East Timor.

August 2005 - Truth commission, set up by East Timor and Indonesia, holds its first meeting. The body, which has no power to prosecute, will examine the violence that accompanied East Timor's independence in 1999.

January 2006 - East Timor, Australia sign a deal to divide billions of dollars in expected revenues from oil and gas deposits in the Timor Sea. Under the agreement, talks on a disputed maritime boundary are postponed.
CAVR (Truth and Reconciliation Commission) Report on alleged atrocities during Indonesia's 24-year rule is presented to the UN. It finds that the occupation was directly responsible for the deaths of more than 100,000 East Timorese, up to 183,000; the true number will perhaps never be known.

March 2006 - The East Timorese Government sacks 600 soldiers from its 1,400-strong force when they deserted their barracks complaining of regional discrimination in promotions. 

April 28 2006 - A rally in support of the sacked soldiers turns into a riot when security forces fire on the crowd. Five people are killed and 21,000 people flee their homes.

May 9 2006 - East Timor's Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri says the violence is an attempted coup.

May 11 2006 - The mandate for a UN mission of 130 administrators, police and military advisers is extended beyond its May 20 finish date.
Australia puts the warships HMAS Manoora and HMAS Kanimbla on stand-by should East Timor require assistance.

May 23 2006 - Clashes between rebel soldiers and Army troops kill two people and wound five.

May 24 2006 - East Timor requests assistance from Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Portugal to quell the unrest. Australia says it will send up to 1,300 troops. Portugal agrees to send 120 military police.

May 25 2006 - The UN opens a refugee camp near Dili for those fleeing the violence.

May 25 2006 - First wave of international troops arrive in Dili.

May 26 2006 - UN confirms nine unarmed police were shot dead by troops in Dili.

May 29 2006 - The full contingent of 1,300 Australian troops disarms warring gangs in Dili.

May 31 2006 - President Xanana Gusmão takes control of the armed forces and declares a 30-day state of emergency.

June 1 2006 - East Timor's Interior Minister and Defence Minister resign.

June 16 2006 - Rebel soldiers heed an order from President Xanana Gusmão and begin handing over their weapons.

June 21 2006 - East Timor's former interior minister, Rogerio Lobato, is placed under house arrest over allegations he illegally armed a civilian militia group.

June 25 2006 - East Timor's foreign and defence minister, Jose Ramos Horta, tenders his resignation, making it clear he no longer wants to be part of an Alkatiri government.

June 26 2006 - Mari Alkatiri announces his resignation from the post of Prime Minister.

June 27 2006 - Prosecutors summon Mari Alkatiri over allegations of a hit squad armed formed to kill his opponents.

Timelines courtesy of:

Timeline of United Nations involvement in Timor-Leste
<> (Accessed June 27, 2006) &

BBC Country Timeline:  East Timor.  (26 May 2006)
<> (Accessed June 27, 2006) &

Timeline: Unrest in East Timor.  ABC News Online. (Sunday, June 25, 2006)

<> (Accessed June 27,2006)

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1. The Rule of Law: Theoretical, Cultural and Legal Challenges for Timor-Leste




1. Justice for Serious Crimes Committed during 1999 in Timor-Leste: Where to From Here?

2. Joint Command for PNTL & F-FDTL Undermines Rule of Law & Security Sector Reform in Timor-Leste

3. Criminal Justice in East Timor and the Constitution of East Timor

4. Commentary on the Draft Arms Law in Timor-Leste

5. Deleted


1. The Law on Political Parties (No 3/2004) & the Decision of the Timor-Leste Court of Appeal in the case of Vitor da Costa & Ors v Fretilin

2. Ethnicity, Violence & Land & Property Disputes in Timor-Leste

3. East Timor: Reconciliation & Reconstruction

4. Legal opinion on the appointment of the Prime Minister and the formation of Government in Timor-Leste

5. A legal opinion on the Formation of an Unconstitutional Government in Timor-Leste

6. Commission for Truth Friendship East Timor Competing Concepts of Justice

7. 25th of May 2006 Massacre & War Crimes in Timor-Leste


1. Some Land Tenure Issues in Post-Conflict East Timor

2. Extradition from Indonesia to East Timor & the Serious Crimes Process in East Timor 1999 - 2005

3. East Timor: Internal Security, States of Seige & Emergency: A Note on the Constitutional Provisions & the Internal Security Law 2003

4. East Timor: The Constitutional Process Governing the Dismissal of the Government

5. Guidelines for Preparation of Outgoing Requests by East Timor for International Judicial Assisstance - Extradition Requests & Letters Rogatory - A Practice Manual

6. Roles of the President and the Prime Minister in the Current Constitutional Crisis in East Timor

7. Institutions & the East Timorese Experience

8. An Early Warning System for Timor-Leste: A Framework Concept of the Need & Possibility of an Early Warning System for the Timorese People


1. The Timor-Leste Maritime Boundaries Case

2. Deleted

3. On the occasion of the International Conference on Traditional Dispute Resolution & Traditional Justice in Timor-Leste

4. General Facts on the Timor Sea & Facts on the Negotiations on a Permanent Maritime Boundary between Timor-Leste & Australia

5. Deleted

6. Morality, Religion & the Law: Abortion & Prosititution in East Timor


1. A Note on Land Rights in East Timor (Indonesian Government Regulation No 18 of 1991 on the Conversion of Land Rights in East Timor) & the Purported Suspension of Article 5 by Government Regulation No 24 of 1992

2. UNTAET Land Policy

3. Some Observations on UNTAET Regulation No 27/2000 on the Temporary Prohibition on Transactions in Land by Indonesian Citizens

4. Sandalwood & Environmental Law in East Timor

5. Some Observations on the Report on Research Findings & Policy Recommendations for a Legal Framework for Land Dispute Mediation in East Timor

6. An Overview of East Timor's Law No 1 of 2003 on the Juridical Regime on Immovable Properties

7. Report on Research into Adat Land Law in East Timor

8. Short Analysis of UNTAET Executive Order No 2 of 2002 on the Decriminalisation of Defamation

9. An Overview of the Constitutional Drafting Process in East Timor

10. Some Notes on East Timor Government Decree No 1/2004 on the Orthographical Standard of the Tetum Language

11. UNTAET Guidelines for the Administration of Public & Abandoned Property by District Administrations

12. Tara Bandu: The Adat Concept of the Environment in East Timor

13. Finding Ways of Resolving Land Problems in East Timor