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The Indonesian occupation of East Timor began in December 1975 and lasted until October 1999.After centuries of Portuguese colonial rule in East Timor, a 1974 coup in Portugal led to the decolonisation of its former colonies, creating instability in East Timor and leaving its future uncertain.

When Indonesia secured its independence after World War II under the leadership of Sukarno, it did not claim control of East Timor, and aside from general anti-colonial rhetoric it did not oppose Portuguese control of the territory.

The first of these was an opening of the political process.

When East Timorese political parties were first legalised in April 1974, three groupings emerged as major players in the postcolonial landscape.

An Indonesian official declared in December 1974: "Indonesia has no territorial ambition ...

Thus there is no question of Indonesia wishing to annex Portuguese Timor." The power shift in Europe invigorated movements for independence in colonies like Mozambique and Angola, and the new Portuguese government began a decolonisation process for East Timor.

When Indonesia secured its independence after World War II under the leadership of Sukarno, it did not claim control of East Timor, and aside from general anti-colonial rhetoric it did not oppose Portuguese control of the territory.

The first of these was an opening of the political process.

When East Timorese political parties were first legalised in April 1974, three groupings emerged as major players in the postcolonial landscape.

An Indonesian official declared in December 1974: "Indonesia has no territorial ambition ...

Thus there is no question of Indonesia wishing to annex Portuguese Timor." The power shift in Europe invigorated movements for independence in colonies like Mozambique and Angola, and the new Portuguese government began a decolonisation process for East Timor.

The Commission for Reception, Truth and Reconciliation in East Timor estimated the number of deaths during the occupation from famine and violence to be between 90,800 and 202,600, including between 17,600 and 19,600 violent deaths or disappearances, out of a 1999 population of approximately 823,386.