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East Timor

Yearbook 2015

Timor. In February, East Timor's Prime Minister Xanana Gusmão submitted a farewell application to the President. Gusmão led East Timor's independence struggle from 1981 and, since independence in 2002, has been in power both as president and as prime minister. According to COUNTRYAAH, President Taur Matan Ruak accepted the dismissal application. Rui Maria de Ara迆jo was elected new Prime Minister on the recommendation of Gusmão. Ara迆jo represents the opposition party Fretilin and was Minister of Health for the first time after independence in 2002.

2015 East Timor

Ara迆jo formed a new and smaller government consisting of 37 ministers instead of the former 55. Analysts said that the government transformation was likely to get rid of ministers accused of corruption. Gusmão remained in the government as minister responsible for planning and strategic investment.

In May, Amnesty International reported on excessive violence and ill-treatment when dozens of people were arrested in the Bacau district, in the eastern part of the country. The arrests were part of a series of security operations by police and military to arrest rebel leader Mauk Moruk and his supporters, who reportedly had carried out attacks on police earlier in the year.

The same month, the Australian Government announced that it will return the sensitive 2006 oil and gas negotiations that East Timor has accused the Australian intelligence service of having stolen from one of the country's lawyers and which East Timor in 2013 turned to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. Relations between the countries have long been strained, partly because of the conflict over how the assets of gas and oil in the Timor Sea should be shared.

In August, the East Timorese government announced that rebel leader Mauk Moruk was killed in an exchange of fire with police and army soldiers. Assessors believed the death of the rebel leader would reduce the risk of new violence caused by rebels.

Mauk Moruk was the leader of the Mauberes Revolutionary Council (KRM) paramilitary group, which was banned in East Timor in 2014.

In November, an earthquake of magnitude 6.3 occurred on the Richter scale, about eight miles from East Timor's capital Dili. The earthquake occurred at about 14 kilometers deep in Lake Savus, which is part of the Indian Ocean. No reports of anyone being injured or of any material destruction were found.

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