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Genocide and the Holocaust (October 2023): East Timor, 1975–1999

By Claudene Sproles

East Timor, 1975–1999

The Indonesian military government occupied East Timor in 1975, claiming the area as its twenty-seventh province. During the occupation, Indonesia led a campaign of brutality against the Timorese, killing between one hundred thousand and two hundred thousand people, fully 20 percent of the population. Many Timorese perished due to forced starvation. During the Indonesian withdrawal decades later, the military destroyed the majority of businesses, drove people from their homes, and indiscriminately murdered civilians. For an account of the genocide, readers should consult Geoffrey B. Robinson’s “If You Leave Us Here, We Will Die.”

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