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PacNet #11 – East Timorese Independence: Getting from Here to There

March 19, 1999

In 1975-76 Indonesian President Suharto ordered the invasion of East Timor and declared it his country’s 27th province. From then on, he refused to alter the territory’s status or allow the East Timorese to do so, for example, in a referendum. On 27 January 1999, less than a year after replacing Suharto as president of Indonesia, B. J. Habibie dramatically altered his predecessor’s course.