East Timor History

East Timor History



According to allcountrylist, tourism is to be developed into an important source of income for the country in the future. For this purpose, the tourist development of scenic coastal areas such as those near Baucau and the island of Ataúro has been planned.


The road network (around 2,600 km paved) is wide-meshed; There are no railway lines. The most important port is Dili. The main international airport is also in Dili; a second airport is located in Baucau east of the capital.


After the adoption of a new constitution (March 22, 2002), the popular leader of the independence movement Gusmão was elected the first President of East Timor on April 14, 2002. With the assurance of considerable economic support and the establishment of a UN aid mission (UNMISET), it gained its independence on May 20, 2002 and became the 191st state (“Democratic Republic of East Timor”) on September 27th, a member of the UN.

A “Truth and Friendship Commission” was set up in 2002 to deal with human rights violations during the Indonesian occupation. In July 2008, this commission presented a final report, according to which serious systematic human rights crimes had been committed, especially by the Indonesian army, in the framework of East Timor’s aspirations for independence in 1999. Indonesia first recognized the established systematic nature of the crimes that President Yudhoyonos “regretted”.

A conflict over the use of the oil and gas reserves at the common sea border, the course of which is controversial, led to the deterioration of relations with Australia (negotiations since 2002). The mandate of UNMISET ended in May 2005, but the United Nations Office in Timor-Leste (UNOTIL) was created to support the development of state structures in East Timor. The greatest threat to the internal stability of East Timor remained the high level of poverty in the country. After around 600 striking soldiers were released in April 2006, they and government troops began fighting in Dili in May 2006, accompanied by bloody clashes between armed youth gangs, looting and pillage and tens of thousands of people fleeing the capital. On May 25, 2006, following a request from the government, a multinational, Australian-led emergency force landed in East Timor. In this civil war-like situation, a power political conflict between the president that had been simmering for a long time intensified Gusmão and Prime Minister Alkatiri ; The latter finally declared his resignation on June 26, 2006 under internal political pressure. Ramos-Horta, who had recently resigned as foreign and defense minister in protest against Alkatiri, took over the leadership of the government and was sworn in as prime minister on July 10, 2006. On August 25, 2006, as a successor to the UNOTIL mission, the UN set up the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) in order to secure the further development of political and social structures.

The presidential elections on April 9, 2007, in which none of the eight candidates running could achieve the required number of votes, led to runoff elections on May 9, 2007 between the President of Parliament Francisco Guterres (* 1954, FRETILIN) and Ramos-Horta, the latter with 69% of the votes won. The handover of President Gusmão, who applied for the post of Prime Minister in the subsequent parliamentary elections, to Ramos-Horta took place on May 20, 2007. In the parliamentary elections on June 30, 2007, FRETILIN won the most votes (29%) but lost government power to one of Gusmãosince August 8, 2007 led coalition government (“Aliança da Maioria Parlamentar”; German: Alliance of the parliamentary majority); this was formed after the elections from Gusmãos CNRT and the Social Democrats and the Democratic Party. In an attempted coup by armed rebels on February 11, 2008, attacks were directed against President Ramos-Horta, who was seriously injured, and Prime Minister Gusmão, who was unharmed. The alleged leader of the rebels, the former chief of the military police Alfredo Reinado, was killed.

Former army chief and guerrilla leader Taur Matan Ruak, supported by the CNRT, won the 2012 presidential election. The inauguration took place on May 20, 2012. In the parliamentary elections on July 7, 2012, the CNRT won the most seats for the first time. Gusmão formed a coalition government with the Democratic Party and a FRETILIN split. The new cabinet was sworn in on August 8, 2012. The main domestic political problems were the persistently high unemployment and the poverty of large sections of the population. The United Nations ended the UNMIT mission on December 31, 2012. On February 6, 2015, Prime Minister Gusmão submitted his resignation after criticizing his administration. Rui Maria de Araújo (* 1964), Member of FRETILIN and former health minister, was sworn in as the new head of government on February 16, 2015. In this way, FRETILIN, who had previously been in opposition, was integrated into the government’s work. On March 20, 2017, the population elected the FRETILIN chairman and former parliamentary president Francisco Guterres in the first ballot as the successor to Taur Matan Ruak in the office of President (in office: May 20, 2017). From the parliamentary elections on July 22, 2017, FRETILIN emerged as the strongest force under the leadership of M. Alkatiri with 23 seats (2012: 25). The CNRT only had 22 mandates (2012: 30). On September 15, 2017, Alkatiris was sworn in as Prime Minister. His minority government, however, found no parliamentary basis, so President Guterres scheduled new elections for May 12, 2018. The CNRT-led opposition alliance AMP, formed in October, won an absolute majority of the seats.

East Timor History