Chapter

A model intervention? The birth of Timor Leste

Norrie Macqueen

in Humanitarian Intervention and the United Nations

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780748636969
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672035 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748636969.003.0006
A model intervention? The birth of Timor Leste

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The multinational involvement in East Timor (now officially known in its Portuguese form as Timor Leste) began after the violence surrounding the independence referendum in 1999. At various points in the unfolding of the situation, the international presence in Timor seemed to represent the best efforts of humanitarian intervention. This external involvement took a number of familiar forms. There was, successively, intervention by a coalition of the willing legitimised by the United Nations, a UN force, and a UN transitional administration in the territory. The conflict that brought about this complex intervention was both inter-state and intra-state in character. The referendum that acted as the trigger for the conflict in East Timor was held to determine whether it should become an independent state, freed from annexation by Indonesia imposed in 1975. This chapter examines UN intervention in East Timor, Australia's participation in UN peacekeeping in East Timor via the International Force in East Timor (INTERFET), the transitional administration in East Timor, the post-independence period in East Timor, and the birth and infancy of Timor Leste.

Keywords: United Nations; humanitarian intervention; East Timor; Timor Leste; independence; Indonesia; referendum; Australia; International Force in East Timor; peacekeeping

Chapter.  12301 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Relations

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