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Published on Aug 17, 2007
June 2006 Days before foreign peacekeepers arrived, journalist David O'Shea travelled to East Timor to chronicle its descent into chaos. His frontline report reveals what's really happening there.
"Watch out for grenades. They're using the grenade launcher!", warns rebel leader and former police chief Alfredo Reinaldo, as government forces opened fire on them. First the army splintered after Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri sacked a third of the force for complaining about discrimination. Then Reinaldo's defection led to the police fracturing. The hope is that foreign peacekeepers will restore order but reuniting the country behind the government may prove much harder. As one woman states: "we need good leaders to govern this country otherwise these things will continue."
Produced by SBS/Dateline Distributed by Journeyman Pictures