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Indonesia, East Timor agree to investigation of human rights abuses

[JURIST] Indonesia [JURIST Countries archive] and East Timor's presidents agreed Wednesday to establish a commission to investigate human rights abuses that led to the deaths of more than 1,000 East Timorese in 1999. The Truth and Friendship Commission will be made up of five delegates from each country, and is expected begin its work in August. The Commission will not have the power to prosecute those it determines were responsible for any abuses. Violence broke out in tiny East Timor after a successful referendum on independence from Indonesia, which had controlled the country for the past 24 years. Following the vote, pro-Indonesia militias backed by the Indonesian military launched a violent campaign that led to the deaths. Despite the establishment of the joint commission by the two countries, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has moved ahead with plans to set up an independent commission [UN press release] to review the human rights violations. The Jakarta Post has local coverage. Reuters has more.

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