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Was there a global effort to influence or stop the human rights abuses in East Timor? Map credit:  http://www.freeworldmaps.net/asia/easttimor/map.html

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The crisis in East Timor refers to a history of human rights abuses targeted at their population by the Indonesian government and military. Indonesia assumed control of East Timor in 1975, shortly after Portugal left the colony. Indonesia invaded East Timor because it was likely that a communist state was going to be instituted there. The result of Indonesian invasion and over twenty years of war were brutal on the population of East Timor with roughly half of the country's population perishing from the unrest. Very little was done on the international level to stop the violence.

Because of the Cold War politics of the day, relief for the East Timorese population was nearly non-existent. The United States and the United Kingdom supported the Indonesian efforts. It has even been alleged that the United States trained killing squads under the Bill Clinton administration. Because of the prominent role of the United States in the United Nations, little was done through this organization to stop the killings. In 1999, the issue of independence caused even greater violence and despair in East Timor. When the United Nations finally brokered a popular election for independence, violence reached a fevered pitch. Australia sent a contingency to reach peace and the United Nations arrived and independence was granted in 2002.

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