When the majority of the East Timorese answered "no" to the question, "Do you accept the proposal for special autonomy for East Timor within the state of the Republic of Indonesia?", Australia was among the countries of the UN which embarked a peacekeeping operation. This is an account of that participation. Australia, through the contribution of the Australian Defence Forces, was the major contributor to the early stages of this operation. The Australian forces were the first to arrive and their first task was to secure the aiport in Dili. They flew into a situation where the Indonesian-supported militia and the Indonesians themselves were still burning, looting and killing, and a situation in which the pro-Indonesian forces deliberately tried to provoke military confrontation and conflict. This is the story of the Australian contribution to one of the most successful interventions by the international community to protect human rights and the outcomes of a democratic process since the establishment of the UN.
It reveals the forces' discipline and restraint in the face of provocation, the requirements for the application of lethal force and the threefold accomplishments of their mission.
Publisher: Allen & Unwin