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Self Determination and Peace Operations in Timor-Leste
Self Determination and Peace Operations in Timor-Leste
Report 246 / Asia

东帝汶:稳定的代价?

执行摘要

联合国维和人员于2012年12月撤离东帝汶,结束了长达13年的东帝汶维和行动。此前,东帝汶的两次成功选举显示出了国家的持续稳定。2006年危机过后,东帝汶的地方领导人决定用增加的石油产业收入换取和平,这个务实的决定已经取得成效。但这一策略依赖于三项因素:现任总理的权威、安全部门制度改革的推迟,以及帝汶海的油气收入。对石油产业的依赖是不可持续的,东帝汶急需寻找其他的政策基础。

2006年,东帝汶爆发危机,警察、军队以及心存不满的退伍军人陷入混战,紧张局势波及平民,导致10万多名帝力居民流离失所。不过,危机后的东帝汶恢复势头良好,油气收入为东帝汶提供了解决问题的良方。2004年,东帝汶开始了在帝汶海的石油开采,此后东帝汶的石油基金便迅速增加,现在基金总额已达到117亿美元。这笔资金让沙纳纳·古斯芒领导的议会多数派联盟(AMP)政府具备了走出危机的信心与资源。政府对投降的“请愿者”给予奖励,当初正是请愿者擅自离开军队,才引发了危机。政府也向流离失所的居民发放现金补助,鼓励他们重返家园,并为心存不满的退伍军人发放高额养老金。政府所签订的利润丰厚的建设合同,还为可能的暴乱分子提供了就业。

2012年的选举证明东帝汶的政局更为稳定,但这场选举也导致权力集中在少数人手中。古斯芒的政党重新执政,权力比以往更大,执政联盟也比过去有所精简。古斯芒在游击队期间的下属(也是前国防军司令)——陶尔·马坦·鲁阿克就任东帝汶总统。古斯芒和鲁阿克都动员抵抗组织帮助自己竞选,而商业利益在议会投票中也发挥了很大的作用。古斯芒虽然组建了55人的内阁,但一直不愿将政治权力下放给可能的继任者,而是将权力集中于自己以及关键的几名部长手中。所有的政党都面临着内部问题,现在仍然不清楚会由谁来接任总理这一主导职位。鲁阿克是可能的人选之一——他一直都直言不讳地批评政府,东帝汶议会权力较小,由鲁阿克继任总理有利于政治问责。但除了鲁阿克就几乎没有什么显而易见的人选了,东帝汶的政治权力交接可能会非常混乱。

东帝汶安全部门既缺乏有效监督,又缺乏充分的制度安排,过度集中的政治权力进一步加剧了这两方面带来的风险。古斯芒兼任东帝汶国防及安全部长,他利用个人权威压制不同安全力量之间及内部的矛盾,却没有制定长期政策。警察部门没有明确的领导班子,存在侦查能力不足和纪律方面的问题。东帝汶在处理诉讼案例方面表现不佳,但如为解决这一问题而建立独立的刑侦部门只会削弱整个警察力量。军队的专业化水平有所提升,但随着军队规模翻番以及军事力量部署至全国各地,东帝汶仍迟迟没有清晰划分各安全力量的职责,这会带来更大的风险。虽然东帝汶几乎不面临任何外部威胁,但军队的野心正在扩张。这种反常的现象使得东帝汶更难划分各安全力量的职责。

东帝汶政府还需要进一步努力,提高投资回报,让回报更加公平。石油基金使得东帝汶在决定优先任务时有独立权,无需过多考虑捐助国的意愿。石油基金也让东帝汶有充分的财政自由,不必举债即可增加开支。政府将支出视为刺激经济的手段,将基础设施的改善看做持续增长的前提,但回报却不尽如人意。近年来,国家预算中有一半以上用于建设项目,但有时政府似乎是事后才想到要真正执行这些项目。而政府对薄弱的教育与医疗部门的投资有限,不足以保证子孙后代的福祉。

现任政府面临的最大挑战是创造更多的经济机会,同时又不耗尽国家财富。东帝汶的出生率位居世界前列,劳动力增长迅速,政府需要优先为劳动力提供更可持续的就业。东帝汶的精英人群大多集中于首都,随着他们从政府增加的支出中受益,公众认为社会不平等在加剧,政府需要寻找解决这一问题的方法。另外,政府必须在反腐方面取得实实在在的成果。在土地所有权立法、权力下放等重大措施的制定过程中,政府需要与议会和公民社会合作,保证立法和政策具备更大程度的公众合法性。

东帝汶在2006年危机之后,实施了旨在快速恢复稳定的务实政策,其成就值得赞赏。任何一个冲突后的经济体要实现转型,都需要增强国内外的信心。东帝汶仍然存在冲突复发的风险,但东帝汶通过政治及经济投资降低这一风险的机会可能稍纵即逝。

帝力/雅加达/布鲁塞尔,2013年6月19日

Speech / Asia

Self Determination and Peace Operations in Timor-Leste

Civil-Military Affairs Conference, Queanbeyan, Australia.

When former British Prime Minister Tony Blair travelled to Timor-Leste in August last year, he met with PM Xanana Gusmao. At one point in the private visit, he imparted some key things he had learnt from his ten years in office, all of which resonate with my presentation this morning. First, he said, all politics is local. Then he advised the former guerrilla leader to prioritise ruthlessly and don’t think that just because you issue a written order or set the system a target that people will do what you say. Finally, he strongly advised Timor-Leste to get out from under the UN mission and its international advisors as soon as possible as hosting them was a burden that this small, poor country did not need.

This morning I’m going to try to do four things. First, review some key events. Secondly, examine what the UN’s transitional administration got right. Thirdly, look what it did less well, and, fourthly, make some general observations about what might be learnt from the experience of peace operations in Timor.

One of the habitual problems with peace operations is that they set themselves up as the only thing between triumph and disaster. Today I hope to deflate such rhetorical bombast, dismantle some myths and illustrate the limits of international intervention as well as show what makes it hard and why there is the need for a lot of good luck.

Independent Timor-Leste exists because of three UN-sponsored missions that followed on from the 5 May Agreements signed to resolve the question of the unfinished decolonisation of East Timor. Between June 1999 and May 2002 – UNAMET, InterFET, and UNTAET were authorised, deployed, and wound up. They were the most important of six Security Council sanctioned operations. I will focus on these keystones as well as touch on the three successors – UNMISET, UNOTIL, and UNMIT – and the Australian-led International Stabilisation Force in place since 2006.

UNAMET, InterFET, and UNTAET were the peace operations that had the most impact, and took place when the local political environment was most conducive to the intervention of outsiders. The rapid implementation and ambitious scope of the first three missions created a country in less than three years and required that many corners be cut. The political mission UNAMET ran a referendum in four months, the multi-national force InterFET quickly re-established security in five, and the transitional administration UNTAET restored the country’s independence in just 31 months. By way of contrast, UNMIT, first mandated in August 2006 as an executive policing mission, has now been going for 69 months.

A decade after the restoration of independence I want to look back and make something of a reassessment of these missions and how we understand them.

The enormity of the task given to UNTAET is still striking – build a new state from the ashes of a deliberately destroyed Indonesian province. It was a unique and rare challenge resulting from a historical accident of international diplomacy. With little real preparation, UN staff were dispatched to work with Timorese to build a new country that became the 191st member of the United Nations.

All three missions were time bound, relatively simple, and almost as soon as they were deployed, each had to start constructing its exit strategy. They had months to do things that would usually take years to prepare for. But UNTAET was also short because it was squeezed by local leaders impatient to run their own show and by member states that wanted resources allocated to more needy cases. It was never an option to stay long-term, even if it would have made the country better run, but the lack of buy-in and increasing resistance to its presence from Timorese would have made UNTAET less effective over time.

Since May 2002, the country has been in the hands of Timorese politicians and its leaders share the blame for starting and kudos for resolving the post-independence crisis of 2006. Besides open fighting between the army and police, the trouble included the premature toppling of the first elected government, and armed attacks on the president and prime minister in 2008. In the last six years, the Timorese have used the UN as an insurance policy while increasingly ignoring its advice. The 2006 crisis was a self-inflicted and painful wound, but one that the government has tried to heal by making its own political deals, widespread use of presidential pardons, and buying political stability. Financially independent and tired of being told what to do, at least in the fields of peace and security, Timorese have in recent years reduced the international community to being a spectator.

But what went right, particularly with UNTAET?

First, the mission fulfilled its core mandate. Building on the foundation provided by InterFET, the transitional administration maintained security, repatriated tens of thousands of refugees, and ensured there was no mass starvation or outbreak of chronic disease. Each of these tasks was in a field that the UN and its agencies had deep practical experience.

UNTAET held elections that were not disputed, restarted key institutions of the state, and administered the country as a Timorese constituent assembly wrote a constitution that assured the legitimacy of the government that would run the new state.

Secondly, it built bridges facilitating the restoration and normalisation of the relationship with Indonesia. It organised key visits of leaders of the two countries – Xanana Gusmao to Jakarta in November 1999, Abdurrahman Wahid or Gus Dur and Megawati Soekarnoputri to Dili in February 2000 and May 2002. Also it quickly obtained general agreement on a workable international boundary and re-established diplomatic relations.

Thirdly, it laid the foundations for financial independence. UNTAET confirmed that Indonesia had renounced its claim to the Timor Gap and then started negotiations with Australia relating to petroleum revenues from the Timor Sea. This has bequeathed to Timor, at least for the time being, an enviable level of fiscal independence. It is an impoverished country of just over one million people, but one with a USD$10.2 billion bank account.

Finally, it stood up an independent government. Looking back a decade later, we can see it did a good enough job in creating an administration that functioned to a minimal level, in part by bringing back many Indonesian trained civil servants, including police, rather than starting from scratch. This was done on a shoestring with an annual budget in 2002 of $60m and 10,000 public servants; Timor-Leste in 2012 as a budget of $1.7 billion and a civil of service of around 32,000.

What didn’t work so well?

First, the UN did not address internal friction. Successive missions did not and could not resolve long-standing tensions, personality clashes and political rivalries within the Timorese elite who are still split between those who fought 24 years in the hills, those who spent that time in exile, and those who supported Indonesian integration. The mission paid undue attention to the Diaspora to the detriment of those who had remained in-country under occupation. The predictable consequence was to help re-establish the elite from a quarter century before.

Could UN special representatives have played a bigger role in sponsoring greater unity? Perhaps, but these splits initially looked more like personality clashes rather than the triggers for violent schisms. The crisis of 2006 and the attacks on the leadership in 2008 both pushed the country to the brink. They were serious challenges that required Timor’s leaders to call in their insurance policy. The ISF made up of Australia, New Zealand, and Malaysia, together with a separate Portuguese police detachment, helped quickly stabilise a volatile situation and stop further bloodshed in 2006. Their presence also underwrote security for the 2007 election. But the 2006 violence in Dili was misread by the UN Secretariat and the Security Council as opportunity to once against take an expansive and intrusive role in governance that was not welcomed by the Timorese and the fact that they resisted it showed they had not actually lost control. In 2008, the system, again under attack, held up to the strain. It is not unremarkable that the country survived armed attacks by rebel soldiers on the national leaders and stayed constitutionally intact.

Secondly, despite having one of the most extensive mandates in UN history, UNTAET struggled to come up with an appropriate policy to deal with the pro-independence FALINTIL guerrillas. This mismanagement had the potential to create armed opposition to the UN mission, but playing catch-up with outside advice a new military was created and half-hearted demobilisation of many fighters did take place. This was a difficult issue, indeed, where are the good examples of DDR? A decade later Timor-Leste still struggles with the politics of veterans and creating an appropriate policy.

Thirdly, UN Police during UNTAET provided law enforcement but left behind weak institutions. Police who were part of ISF in 2006 helped restore order in Dili, but the UN missions stretching from UNTAET to UNMIT have struggled with building the Timorese police. Neither did the UN do very well with the justice system. The PNTL is distrusted, often marginalised in the community, and still struggles to properly investigate and prosecute criminal activity. The courts struggle to try cases despite significant donor support. The experience in Timor must lead us to question the suitability of the UNPOL model of building a police force and the efficacy of international support for the justice sector. UNPOL’s performance in executive policing and training during the early period of UNTAET was affected by slow recruitment and deployment, the range in quality of the officers provided, and a difficult and unfamiliar operating environment. The issue of finding suitably qualified officers for UNPOL deployments is a perennial one. High turnover, divergent policing styles, and the often poor quality of the police sent on missions has bred strong resistance to international policing assistance among Timorese officers.

Finally, during UNMIT, the mission attempted security sector reform without results raising the question of whether it should be in this business at all. Security sector reform is a political and not a technical task and the mission struggled to recruit the right people for these jobs. It is difficult for many outsiders without the language skills or the in-country experience to understand enough to work out what is going on in this highly sensitive sector. What resulted was a project with goals that were completely divorced from those of serving the government and providing useful policy advice that an incoming administration could apply.

There are six observations that I want to leave you with.

First, the Timor context shows us that those missions conceived in minimal or narrow terms were more effective. Conceiving a mission that is short, light in footprint, and as tightly focused as possible will increase the chances of “success”.

Secondly, the quality and experience of mission personnel matters. UNAMET benefitted from a small, core team who brought not only long experience of Timor but also personal commitment. Because if its size, UNTAET had difficulty recruiting enough personnel, particularly with appropriate skills and experience.

It is also not uncommon to hear international staff on these missions bemoan the “politicization” of the missions that are first and foremost political interventions. It makes me wonder why are there not more former politicians working on peace operations. These jobs require experience in the compromises of running democratically elected administrations. Military-led missions also need better country specific political analysis, which in my observation does not always come from military intelligence units.

Thirdly, large international missions are intrusive and do feel like occupations. The longer UNTAET went on, the greater the results it was supposed to achieve, but its intrusive presence made the Timorese elite, whose cooperation was integral to the mission’s success, start to turn against it and work to accelerate its departure. In Timor we see there is an inverse relationship between international control and local ownership. Discontent with the UN decreased as local elites took greater control of the government. Without maintaining strong legitimacy, a mission will find it hard to succeed. This can come from the circumstances or nature of its mandate as well as domestic political factors. In Timor, mission legitimacy was probably at its height with InterFET and UNTAET in November 1999, before it actually tried to start governing, and at its nadir with UNMIT and ISF in 2006-2007 when the missions were surrounded by accusations of political bias ahead of national elections, the formation of a governing coalition, and how it dealt with the mutinous soldiers led by renegade Alfredo Reinado.

Fourthly, UNTAET is often called a “nation building” mission, although “state building” would be more accurate. It should also be remembered as “seat warming” exercise. Along with InterFET, UNTAET’s job was to clear, build, hold, and handover. Clear out the militia and the Indonesian military; build a framework for government; hold an election; and then leave. The international community should conceive its role in these cases to be just “kick starting” a long domestic process. The political nature of exit strategies should be acknowledged and neither the international community nor local players should hide behind technocratic processes, box ticking exercises or complex matrixes. UNTAET’s departure on the 20th of May 2002 and UNMIT’s nominal handover of policing powers on the 27th March 2011 were on arbitrary dates significant to Timorese leaders and not in accordance with any real judgment by the international community or the UN mission about whether they were ready or not.

Fifthly, the international interventions in Timor were blessed with good fortune and a benign strategic environment. The Asian financial crisis toppled Soeharto, promoting Habibie. At the time InterFET was sanctioned, the eyes of the world were focused on Timor due to the annual APEC meeting in Auckland. Timorese also should be grateful that Habibie’s impetuousness gave them a referendum and that he was succeeded by Gus Dur rather than Megawati who was in turn replaced by SBY and not Wiranto, but the factors that influenced these changes were found in Indonesian politics.

Having missions approved and detachments deployed, especially coalitions of the willing, requires strong diplomatic networks and long-established military traditions of working together. Regional leaders and everyone below them need to share a common vision and to be able to talk at times of crisis.

But you also need to be lucky. At the turning point in September 1999, there were no competing international priorities. This would not have been the same two years later. After 9/11, UNTAET was marginally impacted with New York’s attention diverted and the pressure for an accelerated drawdown increased. Let’s face it; while geography makes Timor-Leste figure highly in Australia’s strategic consciousness, it is an obscure country that matters little to most of the P5 on the UNSC. Had the US been under attack in 1999, it would have had no time to lend its pivotal diplomatic support to the establishment of InterFET and UNTAET.

Finally, UNTAET was perhaps the last of the “feel good”, multi-disciplinary, state-building missions that began in the late 1980s with Namibia, Mozambique, Cambodia and culminating in the late 1990s with Timor and Kosovo. Unlike Sudan and South Sudan, Afghanistan and Pakistan, or even Kosovo and Serbia, the relationship between Indonesia and Timor-Leste has turned out to be a good one. Despite our worst fears and some bumps along the way, history has shown Indonesia to be a “friendly neighbour” and today it is Timor-Leste’s strongest advocate for its inclusion in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. SBY’s visit to Dili last week was a warm one and ties between the two countries are only getting stronger.

In conclusion, I believe the ultimate success (or failure) of the missions in Timor-Leste was often beyond the control of each operation and those on the ground. Instead, it was influenced by diplomacy, regional relations, and domestic politics. These factors are hard to manage and not easily subjected to lessons learnt or technocratic fixes.

These missions were at the mercy of local elements beyond the understanding of outsiders or the control of the international community. If they succeeded in the long-term, it was because Timorese had the will to make peace or Indonesians, preoccupied with their own changes, had the disinterest to not interfere.

Timorese themselves have not always listened to our advice or done what they are told to do even if ordered to by a UN Security Council Chapter mandate. And for an exercise that started out as an act of self-determination, this might in itself be regarded as something of a success story.