Geoffrey Robinson, Political Affairs Officer with UNAMET, summarized the post-consultation environment as follows:
“Within hours of the end of voting on August 30, pro-Indonesian militia groups and members of the Indonesian Armed Forces (TNI) began a rampage of violence so sustained and so ugly that it surprised even seasoned observers who had predicted a backlash. Over the next few weeks, most towns and villages in the territory were burned to the ground. Supporters of independence were beaten and raped, while others were killed. By the middle of September, 70 percent of all the buildings in the territory had been burned or destroyed, an estimated four hundred thousand people –more than half of the population– had been forced to flee their homes, and at least one thousand had been killed.” (“If You Leave Us We Will Die,” Dissent, Winter 2002, p. 87.)
This section provides abundant documentation produced by the United Nations, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, The Carter Center, and the International Crisis Group regarding the violence that followed the consultation and the efforts to bring their perpetrators to justice (the links lead to each organization’s website). Use the menu to the left to find out more.