East Timor has
become a money pit for foreign aid, without good prospects of the place ever
becoming self-sustaining. The UN is having a hard time getting donor nations to
contribute, since there are other areas where the money can be sent, that will
have a more positive outcome. The UN is also upset with the East Timor
governments amnesty plan, that would forgive everyone who committed violent
acts during the years of fighting for independence. The UN is particularly
upset that this would mean the killers of UN personnel would not be punished.
July 22, 2007: In East Timor,
gangs battled in the streets of the capital. Police and peacekeepers used tear
gas and rubber bullets to break up the violence and restore order. With the
unemployment rate over fifty percent, the large, tribe based gangs are a major
source of work for many unskilled and morally ambiguous young men. Australia and New Zealand have agreed to keep
their peacekeepers in East Timor for "as long as needed." At the
moment, this appears to be a perpetual responsibility.