The army has been sent onto the street of Dili, the capital of East Timor, in a bid to prevent violent protests being repeated. At least two people were killed in clashes yesterday.
The rioters are 600 soldiers who were sacked after going on strike. “We’ll continue to wage war,” said one demonstrator. “War, libeartion,” shouted another.
The target was the prime minister’s office, with windows smashed and cars set alight.
The soldiers, many from western areas of the former Portuguese colony, claim they are being discriminated against in favour of colleages from the east.
“They will all be arrested if necessary,” said Interior Minister Rogerio Lobato. “If needed, we will get them wherever they are. Because the State of East Timor is at stake, we have to guarantee stability.”
The East Timorese voted for independence from Indonesia in 1999.
The referendum was engulfed in violence in which an estimated 1,000 people were killed.