East Timor: Eve of Independence
Independence supporter, East Timor, March 1999.
A pro-independence civilian with homemade spear gun.
Many villagers had armed themselves against the pro-Indonesian militias, otherwise known as 'Mahidi', who are against independence and want to remain integrated with Indonesia.
They were supported by the Indonesian military and continued to intimidate all supporters of independence by means of torture and killing.
On this Easter Monday morning scores of pro-independence militias descended on the town of Liquica, 35kms. south of Dili, with the intention of confronting the pro-Indonesian militias.
By the end of the day between 11 and 17 independence supporters had been killed (the exact figure hasn't been confirmed).
The sound of gunfire echoed around the town throughout the day, which implies that the Indonesian military were also involved either directly or by way of supplying arms to the pro-government militias.
Copyright © Vince Bevan. All Rights Reserved.
All Images © Vince Bevan. All Rights Reserved