I do hope the Australian news has not spent too much time applauding the very effective arrival of the first OZ contingent who arrived at dusk. Even if the OZ embassy is now surrounded by well-trained armed soldiers with night goggles etc., the rest of Dili appears not to have changed an awful lot.
I believe fighting is still going on and there is a lot of general lawlessness. I came across a guy who has fled his home because there were (in his words) people everywhere around his home, machete-ing each other. This was around 7:30pm. I hear the occasional gunfire in the distance and there has been the odd one much closer.
The euphoria before dark has evaporated fairly quickly.
The power is still on (in my part of town) and the phone lines and mobile phone network still work (and the internet).
I slept OK last night but tonight feels tenser than ever, particularly without the benefit of armed soldiers with night goggles outside.
hey squatter, take care, stay cool and stay well…you’re doing a great job informing us in this blog. my thoughts are with you in these difficult moments.
Squatter, thanks for keeping us apprised. Hope things calm down soon.
I’m rather surprised that the grand naval entrance you described didn’t immediately put the kibosh on any untoward behaviours. The Aussies have been there now for about 14 hours by your notation. Are things still ‘custard’?
Keep safe, keep writing. I’ve got to echo what sonny said.
The grand naval entrance did more for general populace well-being, marking a point where things could not get worse, only better.
But if you read the foreign press (Google News is my friend) you would have seen that OZ military commanders were negotiating rules of engagement on arrival. Its not as if they would disembark at dusk and head straight off in to the trouble areas. As far as I know they controlled the airport and the OZ embassy and needed official signatures or whatever before hitting the streets. Now, if I were them, I would want to know who is on my side before going out there.
I would imagine that deployment is occuring this morning but who knows where. One of my acquaintances at the Bairo Pite clinic is planning to go out to Tibar this afternoon but only after the OZ soldiers have secured the area, so I guess that is happening right now. Tibar is a few kms further west than the troublesome Tasi Tolu and there have been reports of huge problems out there but no more details. I wouldn’t mind tagging along for the ride, but I would just be useless baggage.
I would expect a lot of trouble spots to calm down during today with the serious encounters with rebel soldiers taking a little longer.