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Probe Finds Indonesian Forces Responsible for 1999 Bloodshed in East Timor


An investigation has determined that Indonesian military and civilian security forces orchestrated a campaign of violence during East Timor's independence referendum in 1999.

The findings are contained in a 300-page report prepared by the Commission of Truth and Friendship. It will be submitted next Monday to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his East Timorese counterpart, Jose Ramos-Horta.

The commission says Indonesian authorities provided funding and weapons to anti-independence militias who carried out a host of atrocities, including murder, rapes, torture and illegal detention.

But the report also says pro-independence groups committed crimes against humanity.

The United Nations estimates at least 1,000 people in East Timor were killed in the mayhem.

The commission is calling on both presidents to apologize to their respective citizens for the unrest.

The commission was formed in 2005 by both nations in reaction to calls for an U.N.-sponsored tribunal to investigate the unrest. But East Timorese leaders have never called for any prosecutions out of fear of upsetting Jakarta, its giant neighbor.

East Timor voted for independence after 24 years of Indonesia's heavy-handed, often brutal rule.


Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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