Timor-Leste SSR Background Note

27/10/2016

Key Statistics

Population: 1.245 million (World Bank, 2015

Capital: Dili

Languages: Tetum (official), Portuguese (official), Indonesian, English

Note: there are about 16 indigenous languages; Tetum, Galole, Mambae, and Kemak are spoken by a significant portion of the population (CIA Factbook)

Major Ethnic Groups:  Roman Catholic 96.9%, Protestant/Evangelical 2.2%, Muslim 0.3%, other 0.6%  (CIA Factbook, 2005)

GDP per Capita (current US dollars): US$ 3,664 (Global Finance, 2014 estimate)

GDP per Capita PPP (current international dollars): 6,794 International Dollars (Global Finance, 2014 estimate)

Security Sector Stats

Active Armed Forces: 1,330 (World Bank, 2014)

Small Arms Light Weapons: Please refer to Chapter 2- Timor-Leste Armed Violence Assessment Final Report October 2010 taken from  Small Arms Survey 2015: Weapons and the World

Military Expenditure: 0.7% of GDP 2012 (militarybudget.org, 2012)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction and General Background

2. Political Context

    i. Indonesia Occupation

    ii. Independence

    iii. The 2006 and 2008 crisis

    iv. Timor-Leste Today

3. Overview of SSR in Timor-Leste

4. Security Specific Overview

    i. National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL)

    ii. FALINTIL – Defence Force of Timor-Leste (F-FDTL)

    iii. Justice Reform

    iv. Donor Support and Coordination

    v. Conclusion

5. Acronyms

6. Appendix A – Political and Historical Timeline of Timor-Leste

7. Appendix B - Suggested Readings

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1. Introduction and General Background

The history of Timor-Leste has been one of domination, occupation and political violence. 400 years of colonial rule by Portugal came to an end with the 1974 Carnation “revolution” that toppled the dictatorial Salazar regime in Lisbon, only to be followed by 24 years of brutal Indonesia occupation (1975-1999). In 2002, Timor- Leste achieved independence through election, making it South East Asia’s youngest nation. A series of international support missions, including peace-buildings operations, trainings and financial support helped stabilise the country and prepare it for the 2012 election, which was viewed as an overall success with Taur Matan Ruak inaugurated as President and Xanana Gusmão as Prime Minister. Predominantly Roman Catholic with Tetum and Portuguese as the official language, with a variety of ethnic and regional communities, tension resides within Timor-Leste’s inability to reconcile its legacy of violence, internal fighting, and oppression. These tensions erupted in 2006 when infighting with both the police and the army culminated into riots and looting, killing at least 38 people and displacing up to 150,000 civilians. Today, Timor-Leste has managed to buy peace for its 1.2 million citizens through oil and gas revenue, which generates 80% of its GDP and 95% of the states revenues. However, non-extractive economic alternatives for the country are urgently needed as its main oil and gas reserves will be depleted in few years1 .

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2.Political context

Following the withdrawal of the Portuguese from Timor-Leste, a phase of uncertainty and
political tensions regarding Timor-Leste’s future helped crystallize fierce political rivalries
that continue to influence and resonate within the Timorese society today. A variety of
factions were created including the Revolutionary Front for an Independent East Timor
(FRETILIN), the Timorese Democratic Union who favoured autonomy under the newly democratic Portugal and the Popular Democratic Association of Timor (APODETI) who worked towards integration into Indonesia. In August 1975, UDT launched a series of armed attacks against FRETILIN that escalated into a three-month civil war during which FRETILIN established an armed wing, the National Liberation Forces of East Timor (Falintil)2 . After defeating UDT, FRETILIN unilaterally declared independence on 28 November 1975, at a time when Indonesian military offensive was already underway. Nine days later, on 7 December 1975, Indonesia launched a full invasion of Timor-Leste and established de facto rule over the territory3 .

i. Indonesia Occupation

Despite the United Nations Security Council Resolution 384 which called for withdrawal of Indonesia forces, Indonesia formed a Provisional Government of Timor-Leste (PGET)4 with Arnaldo dos Reis Araújo of APODETI as president, and a Popular Assembly which drafted the request for formal integration into Indonesia. Following the integration of Timor-Leste, Indonesia began a military campaign aimed at suppressing all resistance groups that had taken refuge in the mountains and in the eastern part of the territory. From 1975 to 1977, ABRI troops surrounded FRETILIN areas, killing hundreds of men, women and children as well as FRETILIN’s leader, Nicolau Lobato. By the late 1970s, the resistance movements—essentially FRETILIN/FALINTIL—was quasi-decimated. Its surviving political and military leadership regrouped in 1981 under Xanana Gusmão to try and broaden its base beyond the party by establishing the National Council of Maubere Resistance (CNRM), an umbrella structure for people and groups opposed to the occupation.
Additionally, Indonesian forces carried out gross and massive human rights violations, which included widespread campaigns of killing, rape, torture, kidnapping and disappearance, as well as mass starvation of civilians.5 During the occupation, as many as 200,000 people, equivalent to one third of the population, were killed or died of starvation or disease, with the highest death toll in the initial years after the invasion. Notable amongst these events was the Santa Cruz Massacre in 1991, which occurred when Indonesian troops killed as many as 270 peaceful demonstrators in Dili. International attention soon followed, particularly after a number of developments gave Timor-Leste greater international prominence: the presence of foreign journalists in the territory during the Santa Cruz massacre in November 1991; the capture of Xanana Gusmão by Indonesian forces in November 1992; the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to José Ramos-Horta and Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo in 1996; the 1997-98 Asia financial crisis; the 1997 visit by President Nelson Mandela to an imprisoned Gusmão; and the fall of Indonesian dictator Suharto in 1998.

ii. Independence

In May 1999, Jakarta and Lisbon agreed to a referendum under UN supervision in which the East Timorese could vote on the proposal for autonomy within Indonesia. In spite of difficult security conditions, an estimated 95% of the 451,792 registered voters participated in the ballot; 78.5% opted for independence, rejecting the proposed autonomy status. A wave of orchestrated violence and destruction—perpetrated by Indonesia-backed militias with the aid of the Indonesian military—followed the announcement of the referendum results and left the existing infrastructure burnt to the ground.
Indonesian President Habibie eventually agreed to the deployment of a multi-national force authorized by the UN Security Council to restore security ahead of the establishment of the UN Transitional Administration (UNTAET). UNTAET was to administer the territory and see to preparations for full independence. In this sense, the United Nations played an important role, together with the East Timorese leadership, in the establishment of the country’s security sector institutions.
A Constituent Assembly, which transformed itself into the country’s parliament, ratified the first Constitution in March 20026 . Xanana Gusmão was elected President and FRETILIN Secretary General Mari Alkatiri was sworn in as Prime Minister on Independence Day, 20 May 2002.

iii. The 2006 and 2008 crisis

From the outset, the Falintil-Timor-Leste Defence Force (F-FDTL) had faced morale and disciplinary problems due to poor conditions of service, challenges linked to the transition from a guerrilla force to regular army, and political/regional rivalries. The Government’s indifference to addressing the situation fuelled discontent, and, in January 2006, 159 soldiers submitted a petition to their Commander in Chief, President Gusmão, denouncing what they perceived as mismanagement and regional discrimination in the F-FDTL7 . Dissatisfied with the minimal response they received, they left the barracks on 3 February 2006. Hundreds of other soldiers, or so-called petitioners, joined the protest, to which the F-FDTL Force Commander, Taur Matan Ruak, responded by dismissing 594 soldiers, roughly half of the army
The crisis escalated in late April, and violence broke out when many petitioners and their supporters attacked the Goverment Palace during a demonstration. The Timor-Leste National Police (PNTL) failed to contain the protest, which led Prime Minister Alkatiri to call on F-FDTL troops (with no experience in crowd control) to help restore order. Three demonstrators were killed, which prompted several senior F-FDTL officers, and an armed contingent of soldiers loyal to them, to abandon their posts in protest. Fighting occurred between the remnants of the security forces and those who had left, their supporters and some armed civilians. During the crisis, relations between the F-FDTL and PNTL further deteriorated, and, on 25 May 2006, some members of F-FDTL attacked the PNTL headquarters, killing nine unarmed police officers under UN escort. This was preceded by the desertion of several key PNTL officers.
The Government was forced to appeal for the return of international peacekeepers to restore order and security1 . As discussions were held at the UN Headquarters, an Australian-led International Stabilization Force (ISF) was deployed in late May 2006, by which time half the army had deserted or been dismissed. In addition, the police had been partially disbanded. At least 38 people were killed in the fighting8 and some 150,000 people had fled their homes. The unrest abated only after Prime Minister Alkatiri announced his resignation on 26 June 2006. Following this, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ramos-Horta was appointed Prime Minister of a care-taker government.
On 11 February 2008, some of the petitioners conducted coordinated attacks against President Ramos-Horta and Prime Minister Gusmão during which their leader, Alfredo Reinado, ,was killed. The Timorese authorities reacted promptly, declared a state of siege and launched a manhunt to capture the remaining group. This operation was conducted jointly by F-FDTL
and PNTL under the leadership of F-FDTL. Although characterised as a successful operation that also resulted in improved relations between the two institutions, it did little to mitigate pre-existing challenges facing both forces.
Both the 2006 and 2008 attacks exacerbated an already deep divide between the army and the police in Timor-Leste. The mounting tension highlighted the need for more clearly defined legal boundaries, mandates and missions to be established between the two in order to prevent further conflict. In addition, these events further highlighted the need for international support and implementation of security sector reform in the country.

iv. Timor-Leste Today

UNMIT and ISF completed their missions at the end of 2012 after successful and peaceful presidential and parliamentary elections earlier that year. The 2012 elections ushered in a more centralised political system with Taur Matan Ruak, the former armed forces chief, as President and Gusmão as Prime Minister. In a context of peace and stability largely credited to his leadership, Gusmão relinquished his post in February 2015, in a Cabinet reshuffle that saw the veteran resistance leader taking the portfolio of Planning and Strategic Investment. The move was seen as a symbolic transition of power from the ‘Generation of ‘75’ to the younger ‘Generation of Santa Cruz’.

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3. Overview of SSR in Timor-Leste

Since achieving independence, Timor-Leste has undergone a variety of peace support operations and institution building processes beginning with the UN Transitional Authority of East Timor (UNTAET). Mandated with the task of building a state from scratch, UNTAET, UNPOL, and the UNDP focused on the creation of a security sector, which encompassed defence, justice and police reform while the National Democratic Institute, a US-based NGO, focused on issues regarding security sector reform (SSR) and democratisation9 .

While the UN presence was heralded as an overall success in 2005, the 2006 crisis highlighted the need for clear definitions and delineation of the roles and responsibilities of security sector institutions, a stronger Ministry of Defence, as well as the mechanisms for civilian oversight. Additionally, a coalition of ten Timorese NGOs summarised the lack of a veteran policy, ineffective law enforcement and a culture of impunity as key drivers to the conflict. As a result, the UN Secretary General’s report proposed a sweeping review of the security sector and the creation of a new UN mandate, UNMIT. Under UNMIT came one of the first major attempts to operationalise SSR within a named unit, the Security Sector Support Unit (SSSU)10 . Throughout the review process, the SSSU struggled with the concept of SSR, and recruitment of the appropriate staff to fill the roles (DCAF, 2009). However, despite these obstacles, the SSSU was able to successfully secure donor assistance for the review and begin the implementation process.
In collaboration with the AMP Government, SSSU and Gusmão, who acted as both Prime Minister and Defence and Security Secretary, the government aimed to tackle the absence of a coherent legal and policy framework for the security sector. The sector had been operating under the vague and broad provisions in the Constitution; under regulations, decrees and executive orders issued by UNTAET years before; and in a broader context of residual Portuguese, Indonesian and customary laws. Although most security sector-related legislation has been passed by decree, preparations for a National Security Law (passed in 2010) and a draft National Security Policy have involved the Committee and plenary discussion in the Parliament.
From the outset, coordination of international support to the development and reform of the security sector process had been a challenge with international actors vying at times for prominence rather than seeking to ensure that their respective interventions were complementary.
The following examples give additional insight into the governance challenges:

Maliana market incident

In June 2009, a fight broke out at the market in Maliana, a town situated near the border with Indonesia where the following security actors were present:

  • UN and national police;
  • A small national military contingent, recently deployed in the area with a vague mandate; and
  • Some criminal gangs.

A small number of national and UN police officers were nearby. They saw that they were outnumbered and called for back-up without visibly intervening. A community leader who witnessed the fight called the local military commander. The commander arrived on the scene promptly with a few armed soldiers who joined in the fight to break it up. Fortunately, the situation did not escalate and there was no confrontation between the military and the police in this instance. But the incident underscored, among other things:

  • Lack of understanding by the community of the roles and responsibilities of the different security services, and the chain of command; lack of trust in the ability of the police to respond;
  • Lack of understanding and respect by the military of the role of the police;
  • Lack of responsiveness on the part of the police; and,
  • Lack of interagency coordination and communication. Several investigations were subsequently conducted but not one raised the unconstitutionality of the F-FDTL being called upon by a citizen to assume policing functions.

The Maternus Bere case

Maternus Bere is the former leader of the Laksaur Militia that was backed by the Indonesian military and operated in the Suai district prior to the 1999 referendum. In 2009, he was in East Timorese custody and awaiting trial on the basis of an indictment for crimes against humanity committed in 1999 that included “murder, extermination, enforced disappearance, torture, inhumane acts, rape, deportation and persecution”11 .
On 30 August 2009, as Timor-Leste was marking the 10th anniversary of the holding of the referendum on independence, the President and Prime Minister gave in to pressure from the Indonesian authorities and ordered the release of Maternus Bere. By bypassing the judicial system, the decision to release Bere violated the following national and international laws, conventions and principles: - The Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, - The democratic principles of separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary, - The State’s commitment made by ratifying the Rome Statues of the International Criminal Court.

Unbudgeted purchase of patrol boats

Since independence, China has built its relationship with the new country, constructing for instance its Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its Presidential Palace. In 2007, the two countries agreed that China would also build the Ministry of Defence and the F-FDTL Headquarters for Timor-Leste. On 12 April 2008, the Government signed an agreement with China for the purchase of two long-range patrol vessels for the maritime component of the F-FDTL, each to cost USD 15 million12 . The manner in which the deal was reached presented the Parliament (and to a large extent the Ministry of Finance) with an unforeseen fait accompli. When called to account by the Parliament, the Prime Minister/Minister of Defence and Security stressed that initial discussions with the Chinese had been initiated under the previous government, and that the purchase was envisaged in the F-FDTL development plan “Force 2020”—a plan that had been developed by the F-FDTL in the absence of a national security policy framework. Additionally, this procurement did not take into account the maintenance costs associated with such a purchase, nor did it factor in the fact that new wharfing facilities would have to be built to harbour the vessels. In 2008, independent estimates were that maintenance alone would cost upwards of USD 4 million annually for the vessels only.

While the SSSU unit and the Government of Timor-Leste have made notable progress in defining legal frameworks for the police and the army, developing an integrated system of national security, developing new criminal procedures codes, and establishing a national security policy, improvements in oversight and accountability still need to be evaluated. Most notably, the government has come under harsh scrutiny for the concentration of powers in matters of Defence and Security. After the 2006 crisis, Gusmão fused the ministries of Defence and Interior under a single portfolio, placing himself in charge.13 While this was considered an effective means of unifying the fractured forces, many have called for a division of power. Additionally, while the economy has seen an increase in revenues over the last decade, it is of great concern the over-dependence on oil revenue and the pattern of buying peace through various payments to former combatants and veterans. The expansion of F-FDTL has been also questioned in relation to the sustainability of plans to double-size the force.. With reserves expected to be depleted as early as 2020, many question the security forces ability to maintain stability and social peace once the revenues has decreased14 .

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4. Security Specific Overview

i. National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL)

The East Timor Police service was established in August 2001 and became the PNTL in May 2002. Under the Security Council Resolution 1704, 1600 UNPOL officers were mandated to provide provisional support to the PNTL. This included interim law enforcement and public security until PNTL was reconstituted. In addition, UNPOL was to provide assistance in additional training, institutional development and overall strengthening of PNTL forces for electoral related security arrangements. As of 2012 following UN withdrawal, the PNTL oversight is done through the PNTL Department of Justice, which is responsible for disciplinary investigations, however resource limitations have damaged the efficiency and oversight body significantly.
Despite these efforts by UNMIT and UNPOL, the population has had difficulty in placing trust in the PNTL, thereby maintaining a heavier reliance on community practices as opposed to state security forces. Critics argue that the country’s police force is still considered to be poorly trained, ineffective with an overall lack of leadership and discipline. The 2006 crisis, which resulted in the collapse of the PNTL, further instilled a legacy of violence thereby damaged the reputation and legitimacy, as well as highlighted the lack of leadership within the police force.
Aiming to address some of the problems highlighted in the 2006 crisis, a series of police reforms were conducted in 2009 under Longuinhos Monteiro, the then prosecutor general (appointed PNTL commissioner in 2011 and, after the Cabinet reshuffle in 2015, the new Interior Minister). The reforms helped improve police professionalism, however problems still remain, particularly including poor accountability, weak investigations, over-reliance on large scale special operations and weak crowd and riot control (IPAC, 2014). The International Crisis Group (ICG) noted the inability to respond adequately to fighting between youth gangs and martial arts groups, with the Military Police consistently called on for back up as well (ICG, 2013). Additionally issues remain in relation to the continuation of PNTL training since the closure of UNMIT in 2012.
On the technical side, there is a need to incorporate ‘an improved understanding of the major processes, procedures, and practices that would need to be changed to promote community policing practices’ (Asia Foundation, 2011). On the political side, there needs to be improved support for the PNTL in order to strengthen its community policing approach. This would involve changes in the security sector, government and civil society. In response, the Asia Foundation and the PNTL held a National Forum on Community Policing in late August 2014, bringing together PNTL and civil society organisations, policy makers, and community members to share information, experiences and ideas about community policing. The goal is to improve the philosophy of community policy, by emphasizing visibility, engagement and professionalism.

ii. FALINTIL – Defence Force of Timor-Leste (F-FDTL)

Defence has commonly been cited as the one sector most in need of reform, restructuring and rebuilding. The Constitution of Timor-Leste assigns F-FDTL the responsibility of protecting the country against external attack, and the PNTL the responsibility for internal security. In practice, while it has no formal police functions, F-FDTL has taken on a policing role at times. This may be largely to the lack of an external threat to the country, with intern aggression commonly acting as a threat to stability. Conversely, PNTL have been involved in border defence operations. These overlaps have been aggravated by the absence of a national security policy, and have exacerbated rivalries between the PNTL and the F-FDTL to the point of occasional clashes, notably in 2003, 2004 and 2006. Attempts by the UNTAET, UNMIT, and the government of Timor-Leste to reforms have received mixed results. While improvements in regards to delineation of roles and professionalism have improved, a significant amount of reform is still needed.
On February 2001, Timor-Leste adopted the decision to create a defence force, even if some international stakeholders were rather in favour of an option for the country having no armed forces. From different models under consideration, the winning option envisaged a1500-strong army, with two light infantry battalions, and a small naval component. It is important to note that “prior to the formal establishment by UNTAET of the East-Timorese police service and defence force, the country had never possessed territory-wide, indigenous structures to provide for external defence or the maintenance of internal law and order.”1 During the pre-referendum period, some East Timorese leaders had publicly stated that an independent East Timor would not have a military. The violence that followed the referendum and the dilemma posed by what to do with FALINTIL - voluntarily cantoned in the lead-in to the vote in 1999 and in the year that followed - changed that position.
The first 650 F-FDTL members were selected from 1,736 former FALINTIL applicants by FALINTIL’s high command without external oversight15 . Most of them were from the eastern districts of the territory. F-FDTL’s first battalion was established at the end of June 2001. A second one was established in 2002 from a cadre of the first and new recruits who had not participated in the independence struggle (a large number of them from the western districts). Since its creation, the F-FDTL are still considered to be better disciplined than the PNTL but low salaries contributed to low morale within the ranks. While most East Timorese generally considered F-FDTL national heroes, in the eyes of the international community, it was an ‘armed group’ with whom they had difficulties to engage.
The F-FDTL made efforts to strengthen institutional capacities, with support from bilateral partners and UNMIT. In 2006, UNMIT was tasked with the objective of providing training to PNTL and F-FDTL officers, in areas relating to the rule of law, human rights and legislative frameworks. Additionally, the Government implemented UNMIT’s recommendations established in the F-FDTL Force Development Plan 2011-2017. These included ‘the establishment of contract, procurement and financial management capacities within F-FDTL” (UNMIT, 2012). Mentoring and support were also provided by UNMIT military liaison officers prior to their deployment. For the 2012 election, the F-FDTL was deployed in nine of the 13 districts to provide an additional sense of security. Two F-FDTL officers were also deployed as military observers to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.
In 2012, authorisation was given to expand the military, with a maximum of 3,600 troops by 2020. The Defence secretariat developed a more comprehensive set of operational guidance which would develop naval16 and military engineering capacity; however, given that Timor-Leste does not currently face any significant external threats, many question whether this is the appropriate and sustainable means to achieving stability. Instead, groups such as the ICG have recommended investigating and improving disciplinary mechanisms, which have been a consistent and unresolved problem regarding both the police and armed forces. The Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC) stressed the need for the establishment of independent civilian oversight, which would involve recruiting a Defence minister from outside the F-FDTL. Additionally, the IPAC noted the challenge of retiring the ageing contingent of the ex-Falintil forces that still serve in the military in a dignified and respectable manner. The question of retirement will play an important role in the future given that severance by the state will need to be established, potentially prompting greater rewards to veterans as well as those who have staked their political legitimacy around ties to the former resistance fighters.

iii. Justice Reform

Timor-Leste’s judicial system was built from scratch after 1999, given that the violent campaign from pro-Indonesian groups left barely any justice infrastructure in place, leaving as well the country with almost no trained human resources. During the transitional period and after independence, the justice sector was therefore one of the priorities of international support, rightly targeting justice as one of the pillars of State-building and an essential element of broad peacebuilding. “Despite these efforts, the formal justice system, especially outside the capital Dili, remains under-resourced and largely inaccessible to ordinary citizens, especially women, children, and other marginalized groups. As a result, the majority of Timorese still lack knowledge of and a sense of connection to the formal justice system.”17
Customary and traditional mechanisms are the preferred choice for a majority of citizens for solving a broad range of disputes, with evidence confirming that the trust in non-statutory justice is higher today than a decade ago at the community level. The resilience and prevalence of such systems deeply rooted in East Timorese culture and society, poses further challenges to justice reform in the country, considering that such mechanisms still have serious flaws in the administration of justice, with particular reference to matters involving domestic violence and violence against women, and the risk of enforcing norms and practices not aligned with statutory laws and international human rights standards. Local justice by definition is also heavily reliant on personalities rather than standardised norms and procedures, leaving opportunity for inconsistencies and maladministration.
Justice reform in Timor-Leste has largely focused on building institutional and human capacity. The Legal Training Centre (LTC, created in 2004), the enhancement of mobile justice outside the capital, and the overall build-up of a national legal framework are among the key achievements of the sustained support in this area. The justice sector was also one of the areas of the Joint Transition Plan 2012-2014 signed between the Government of Timor-Leste and UNMIT, where the UN Country Team was recommended to continue assisting to consolidate peace and stability, by focusing on further drafting and enacting legislation, increase access to justice for all, and regulate the relation of the traditional/customary justice system with the statutory laws and mechanisms.
The Fragility Assessment conducted in July-August 2012 under New Deal introduced by the g7+ fragile and conflict-affected states found Justice was at stage two (‘Build and Reform’) of five stages (stage five being ‘Resilience’) and the least advanced alongside Economic Foundations of the five Peace-building and State-building goals against which Timor-Leste
was assessed.18 As of 2013, a total of 65 Timorese judges, Prosecutors and Public Defenders have graduated from LTC. While the Courts, Prosecution Office and Public Defender’s Office are processing cases regularly, there are concerns that the independence of the judiciary is not fully accepted by other actors.
An Independent Comprehensive Needs Assessment undertaken in 2009 with support from UNMIT, underlined that one of the greatest challenges to ensuring an effective justice system in Timor-Leste is the persistence of impunity and corruption. Article 160 in the constitution stipulates the prosecution of offenses between 1974 and 1999. However, the courts fail to prosecute many of those responsible for crimes during this time greatly hindering accountability in the justice system.
Additionally, in an assessment approved by the Council of Coordination for Justice, Dili in 2010, improved coordination and harmonisation of activities within the sector was outlined as a top priority. As a result, a series of goals have been outlined as a means of improving the justice sector and addressing the issue of incoherent or misaligned efforts on justice reform. This includes a focus on institutional development with the hope of achieving effective coordination by 2012-2013, decentralisation by 2020-2030, and complete efficiency and independence of its courts system by 2015-2020. (Council of Coordination for Justice, 2010).
There were a series of workshops and other consultation mechanisms, at political and operational levels, aiming to promote participation and extend the debate to the widest possible number of entities and professionals working in the sector, in order to obtain essential contributions which would help to maintain the strategic plan.

iv. Donor Support and Coordination

Timor-Leste has been one of the highest recipients of foreign aid in the world with a wide array of international donors has worked with Timor-Leste to establish SSR programmes. Since 1999 to 2008, there have been five Security Council missions focused on stabilisation, peacekeeping and nation building. In August 2006, the UN Security Council decided on the establishment of the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) with an executive policing mandate. The Security Council also requested the UN police (UNPOL) to ensure election-related security arrangements; support the reconstitution of the national police, its training and capacity building. UNMIT was also mandated to “assist the Government (…) in conducting a comprehensive review of the future role and needs of the security sector (…) through the provision of advisers and in cooperation and coordination with other partners…”(UNMIT, 2012)
Overall, the programmes have had a broad and positive impact. However, donor support was at times uncoordinated and has hindered optimal efficiency. In addition, donor support for SSR programmes saw a dip by 2011, which lead to a heavier reliance on bilateral funding. The primary post-conflict recovery coordination mechanism, the International Compact, only includes one donor, Australia. Since bilateral donors contribute 82% of aid (2002-2006), the Compact should incorporate all donor activities. Donor fatigue had set in and requires more commitment by the government to consolidate their SSR efforts. Despite donor fatigue, nation priorities were predominantly met with 30 percent of the quarterly targets met by June 2011. On April 6, 2011 the UN Council of Ministers endorsed the 2011 national priorities with the basic emphasis on basic infrastructure, energy, rural development and human resources.

v. Conclusion

There has been substantial progress given the state of affairs at the time of independence where the security, government and justice sectors were weak or inexistent. A major tenet of security sector reform is that the police have the responsibility to provide internal security. However, in Timor-Leste clear boundaries between the police and army are still not apparent. Furthermore, there is a need for improving donor coordination and equipping the police and military with the necessary equipment and training, while at the time strengthening oversight mechanisms and shield the security sector from political interference. Special attention also needs to be paid on reforming the legal system and addressing legislative gaps which are key aspects of reforming the security sector. Finally, the justice system must hold those accountable for political violence in the past.
Given the tremendous growth and size of the government, with over 55 ministers in the Cabinet alone, the government has struggled with reducing patronage and corruption and improving systems of oversight. In addition, the government has yet to develop a long-term policy to reconcile tensions with, within, and among the security forces, which might be, as in the past, a trigger for violence and social unrest.

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5. Acronyms

APODETI the Popular Democratic Association of Timor UDT Timorese Democratic Union
CNRM National Council of Maubere Resistance F-FDTL FALINTIL-Timor-Leste Defence Force
PNTL National Police of Timor-Leste CNRM National Council of Maubere Resistance UNMIT United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste
SSR Security Sector Reform ISF International Stabilisation Force
FALINTIL National Liberation Forces of East Timor UNPOL  
SSSU Security Sector Support Unit PGET Provisional Government of East Timor
FRETILIN National Liberation Forces of East Timor UNTAET UN Transitional Administration

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6. Appendix A – Political and Historical Timeline of Timor-Leste

Aug.1975 Portuguese withdraw from Timor-Leste amid the armed confrontation opposing UDT and FRETILIN, following a year of political instability in Portugal after the April 1974 revolution that opened the way for the independence of its colonies.
Aug.-Nov. 1975 After defeating UDT, and with combats against Indonesian forces intensifying since October, FRETILIN unilaterally declares the independence of the territory on 28 November 1975.
Dec. 1975 Indonesia launches a full-scale invasion and occupation of Timor-Leste, during which most of the top FRETILIN leadership is killed or arrested.
1977 Indonesia begins its policy of encircle and encroachment, hoping to isolate and target the remaining FRETILIN-FALINTIL forces.
1981 Ssurviving FRETILIN-FALINTILleadership regroups under Xanana Gusmão and tries to broaden its base beyond the party by establishing the National Council of Maubere Resistance (CNRM).
1991 Indonesian forces open fire against a peaceful demonstration, killing over 100 people in what becomes known as the Santa Cruz massacre.
Sept. 1999 An overwhelming majority of East Timorese reject the option of autonomy within Indonesia in a referendum, in fact opening the way for the independence of the territory. In response, pro-Indonesian militias unleashed a well-orchestrated scorched-land campaign against people and infrastructure, destroying 95% of the capital and pushing thousands of people across the border to West Timor. The violence ended with a military intervention from Australia.
2002 Timor-Leste achieves independence after a period under UN transitional administration. The Constitution is approved and Gusmão is sworn in as President. Timor-Leste is recognized by the UN as 191st member.
April-May 2006 Brewing tensions between competing factions of the country’s political elite, stirring ethnic and political rivalries within the security sector, come to a head, with armed confrontation between the security forces, the collapse of the police, and the break-away of an armed group headed by the commander of the Military Police. The politico-military crisis caused the death of up to 38 people, and the displacement of up to 150,000 civilians, with half of them in IDP camps in Dili.
June/July 2006 Prime Minister Alkatiri resigns and Foreign Minister José Ramos-Horta is appointed to head the Government for a transition period.
2007 Ramos-Horta wins presidential elections in May and becomes the new head of State. In general elections in June, FRETILIN gets a majority of the votes but not the majority of seats in Parliament; instead, a coalition of parties in opposition is invited to form the new Government, with Gusmão appointed as Prime-Minister, causing a new outbreak of violent protests in the capital.
Feb. 2008 Two attacks by renegade army soldiers target President Ramos-Horta (shot and left in critical condition) and Prime-Minister Gusmão. In response, the authorities impose a state of emergency and launch a joint police and army operation to capture the renegade soldiers.
2012 UN Peacekeeping Forces officially withdraw from Timor-Leste after what is considered peaceful and successful presidential and general elections, in which former F-FDTL commander Taur Matan Ruak becomes the new President and Gusmão’s AMP wins a second term.
Feb. 2015 Gusmão resigns and the Minister of Health Rui Araújo, a member of FRETILIN leadership, is appointed as Prime-Minister. Gusmão remains in the Government with the portfolio of Planning and Strategic Investment. The reshuffling signals a transition from the ‘Generation of 1975’ to the ‘Generation of Santa Cruz’ in the national politics.

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7. Appendix B - Suggested Readings

Belo, Nélson D.S., &, Mark R Koenig. “Institutionalising Community Policing in Timor-Leste: Exploring the Politics of Police Reform.” Asia Foundation. (December 2011).

Peake, Gordon. “A Lot of Talk But Not a Lot of Action: The Difficulty of Implementing SSR in Timor-Leste.” The Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces. (Geneva: 2009).

Justice Sector Strategic Plan for Timor-Leste 2011-2030.” Council of Coordination for Justice. (Dili, February 12, 2010).

Timor-Leste: Stability at What Cost.” Asia Report N°246 International Crisis Group, (Brussels: May 8, 2013).

Timor-Leste After Xanana Gusmão.” IPAC Report °12, Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict. (July 16, 2014).

United Nations Peacekeeping Operations in Timor-Leste.” The United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste. (2008).

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Footnotes

1 Oil running out is reality, not propaganda, from La’o Hamutuk, 15 June 2015, among extensive resources on the oil sector in the site of this governance-oriented NGO: http://www.laohamutuk.org/econ/model/RespostaMina15Jun2015en.pdf

2 Amnesty International counted 2,000–3,000 people dead after the civil war amongst the two parties.

3 The invasion was called Operasi Seroja (Operation Lotus) and was the largest military operation ever carried out by that nation.

4 Officially, it was titled the Provisional Government of East Timor (PGET).

5 The most detailed appraisal of crimes during Indonesian occupation was compiled in the final report of the East Timor truth and reconciliation commission (CAVR), available at http://www.cavr-timorleste.org/index-old.htm

6 The constitution was put in place through elections dominated by FRETILIN in August 2001

7 The perception by the some of the soldiers was that the western forces were unequally treated in relation to the eastern forces. Easterners were the majority in the F-FDTL , and had been more strongly associated with the independence movement, whereas the western forces were not.

8 Of which 23 civilians, 12 PNTL officers and 3 F-FDTL soldiers, according to the Independent Special Commission of Inquiry for Timor-Leste, 2006: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/COITimorLeste.pdf

9 The programme was initially conceived as civil-military in focus, aspiring to expand citizen knowledge about the role of the military and wider security sector in a democratic society.

10 The SSSU came under operation in 2007.

11 Serious Crimes Unit indictment No./09/2003. The UN/RDTL Special Panel for Serious Crimes of the Dili District Court issued a warrant for the arrest of Maternus Bere on the basis of this indictment and of Article 160 of the Constitution of the Republic Democratic of Timor-Leste.

12 The overall budget envelope allocated to the F-FDTL for 2008 was USD 13.9 million.

13 Maul Moruk, rebel leader that was recently pardoned has been a staunch critic of this merge, claiming that Gusmâo is developing authoritarian tendencies (IPAC, 2014)

14 ICG, 2013 and Foreign Affairs, 2014.

15 Members of FALINTIL who were not recruited into F-FDTL were demobilised through a programme implemented by IOM with funding from USAID, the World Bank and the Japanese government.

16 The naval component is expected to compose one quarter of the armed forces.

17 Timor-Leste Law and Justice Survey 2013, The Asia Foundation, https://asiafoundation.org/resources/pdfs/TimorLesteLJSurvey2013.pdf

18 The five stages are ‘Crisis’, ‘Build and Reform’, ‘Transition’, ‘Transformation’ and ‘Resilience’. The five Peace-building and State-building goals are ‘Legitimate Politics’ – fosters inclusive political settlement and conflict resolution, ‘Security’ – establish and strengthen people’s security, ‘Justice’ – address and increase people’s access to justice, ‘Economic Foundation’ – generate employment and improve livelihoods, and ‘Revenue and Services’ – manage revenue and build capacity for accountable and fair services delivery. The Fragility Assessment in Timor-Leste available from http://www.g7plus.org/sites/default/files/resources/Timor-Leste-Fragility-Assessment-Report.pdf

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