East Timor 2006
Timor. After several years of negotiations, East Timor in January signed a final agreement with Australia on joint oil and gas extraction under the Timor Sea. Income should be shared equally. According to CountryAAH, major public holidays in East Timor include Independence Day (May 20) and New Year (January 1). A decision on how to draw the territorial water boundary has been postponed for 50 years pending the depletion of energy resources. The extraction can give East Timor large revenue if production gets underway. The country needs that money more than well.
East Timor is the poorest in Asia and, according to the UN, is only getting poorer. There are few jobs outside agriculture and about 40% of the population lives below the poverty line. The difficult living conditions in March triggered protests in the army, which led to close to 600 of the country’s approximately 1,400 soldiers being laid off for desertion. The layoffs in turn triggered new protests to which large crowds of civilians joined. The unrest led to riots in the capital, Dili, with extensive looting and damage. About 150,000 people fled their homes and some 30 were killed. Half of the residents of Dili sought protection in churches, mission stations or in rural areas. The unrest made it difficult for the authorities and NGOs to distribute supplies, and for many the hardships became difficult. East Timor was on the brink of civil war when the dismissed soldiers emerged as an armed rebel force, and residents of the country’s eastern and western parts were manipulated into politically initiated to consider each other as enemies. Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and Portugal sent a total of about 3,000 soldiers to fight the uprising. President Xanana Gusmão announced a state of emergency, dismissed the Defense and Home Affairs Ministers and took command of the army himself. After nearly three months of uprising, Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri resigned, who was severely criticized for his way of handling the unrest. New Prime Minister became Foreign Minister Jos谷 Ramos-Horta. After the order was somewhat restored, the UN Security Council decided to send a police force of about 1,500 men to East Timor. Occasional unrest continued during the fall.