East Timor's Petro Trouble
When the U.N. sent peacekeepers to the former Indonesian territory of East Timor in September, 1999, Australian troops were at the vanguard. They helped restore a semblance of law and order to a U.N. protectorate that had been laid waste by the Indonesian military after the East Timorese had the temerity to vote for independence. The Australian government has since spent $500 million on peacekeeping, plus about $40 million on humanitarian aid, from medicine for sick kids to rebuilding schools. In the process, Australia earned the heartfelt gratitude of the East Timorese.
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