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Albertina d’Urso | East Timor will dance alone

East Timor, Dili, August 2012. Eaterys in the waterfront.

According to the United Nation’s Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, East Timor is ready for the withdrawal of hundreds of international peacekeepers stationed there.

East Timor (officially titled the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste) a former Portuguese colony for three centuries, suffered 24 years of brutal Indonesian occupation that left more than 250,000 dead and much of the country’s infrastructure destroyed.
International armed forces entered the country in 1999 and even if formal independence was declared in 2002, extreme poverty, internal rivalry and mistrust, riots and violence required the blue-helmeted soldiers to stay for five consecutive missions.

A decade after, Asia’s youngest country, has made significant progress towards stability but, with the departure of UN troops, will have to prove to be able to put the word end to its bloody history and keep peace on its own.

East Timor, Zumalai, August 2012. A family in a tradition house.

East Timor, Balibo, August 2012. Cockfighting.

East Timor, August 2012. A beach near Manatuto.

East Timor, August 2012. Fishermen, Dili.

East Timor, Maubisse, August 2012. Children are playing around an old cementery.

East Timor, Baucau, August 2012. Children play in a destroyed and abandoned building.

East Timor, Dili, August 2012. Young Timorese at a concert.

East Timor, Dili, August 2012.Young boys make their living wascing taxis in a parking. In the background a destroyed building.

East Timor, August 2012. A restaurant in Maliana.

East Timor, August 2012. A family in a small hut near Tutuala.

East Timor, August 2012. Sun set and low tide. Areia Branca beach, Dili.

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