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
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
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.