Portugal abandoned its former colony, with its largely Roman Catholic population, in 1975, when it was occupied by Indonesia and claimed as the province of Timor Timur. The United Nations did not recognize Indonesian sovereignty over the territory. An independence movement, the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor (FRETILIN), maintained a guerrilla resistance to the Indonesian government which resulted in large-scale casualties and alleged atrocities. On 24 July 1998 Indonesia announced a withdrawal of troops from Timor-Leste and an amnesty for some political prisoners, although no indication was given of how many of the estimated 12,000 troops and police would pull out. On 5 Aug. 1998 Indonesia and Portugal reached agreement on the outlines of an autonomy plan which would give the Timorese the right to self-government except in foreign affairs and defence.
KeywordsPrime Minister Parliamentary Election Political Prisoner Indonesian Government Independence Movement
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