The U.S., the U.N. and several local nations have called on Indonesia to crack down on anti-independence violence in East Timor. To do so would risk civil war, as many Indonesians, especially in the Army and among migrant civilians in East Timor, are willing to fight to keep East Timor part of Indonesia. Already, several people are being killed, and many more injured, each day in East Timor. Many Indonesians fear that if East Timor, forcibly taken from the Portuguese 24 years ago, is allowed independence, many other parts of Indonesia will also want the same treatment.
In the city of Ambon, troops killed five rioting Muslims and wounded 25 more while trying to stem an anti-Christian riot.
August 25; The government plans to withdraw it's 14,000 troops and 8,000 police from East Timor within three to six months if the population votes for independence.
August 24; The U.N. has 1,400 voting observers in East Timor to insure that the August 30 referendum is honest, or reasonably so. In the Moluccas islands, up to 12 people died in Muslim attacks on Christian neighborhoods.