15 Jul 2011

Separatist wars

Separatist wars

In 1975 Indonesia annexed the former Portuguese colony of East Timor. The area remained isolated (as a result of travel restrictions) until the early 1990s as the army fought to quash the secessionist movement, which was spearheaded by the Front for an Independent East Timor (Fretilin). An estimated 200,000 people out of a population of 700,000 died from war or related famine during this period. The United Nations refused to recognize Indonesia's claim to East Timor. Other separatists movements opposed to Suharto's authoritarian rule flared up in Maluku (the Moluccas) and in Irian Jaya, where the Free Papua Movement (OPM) systematically opposed Indonesian rule.

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