UN mission leaves East Timor 13 years after vote

(AP) UN mission leaves East Timor 13 years after vote
DILI, East Timor
The United Nations has ended its peacekeeping and political mission in East Timor 13 years after the tiny nation broke free from Indonesia in a bloody independence ballot.

The United Nations organized the 1999 referendum and directly administered the country until 2002, when it formally became a nation.

A support U.N. mission was established and was supposed to end in 2006, but political and ethnic violence led to an extended peacekeeping presence of up to 1,600 police officers from around the world.

A U.N. statement said the mission was ending Monday.

East Timor President Taur Matan Ruak mentioned the end of the U.N. mission in his New Year's Eve speech, saying the country now enjoyed peace and stability.

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