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INTERFET christmas card

Date: 1999
Dimensions:
Overall: 105 x 145 mm
Medium: Ink on paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Ephemera
Object Name: Card
Object No: 00036850

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    Description
    An Interfet (International Force For East Timor) christmas card with text reading "International Force East Timor Peace". There are a series of 20 national flags down either side representing the countries involved in the mission. Printed text inside reads "Merry christmas and a happy new year. Peace be with you. Ba ho maromak".

    SignificanceThe INTERFET card relates to Australia's involvement in the United Nations' peacekeeping efforts in Timor. The Royal Australian Navy was heavily involved in this operation ferrying troops from Darwin, providing supplies and clearing harbours and beaches of mines.
    HistoryIn August, 1999, East Timor held a referendum vote for independence after being under Indonesian government since 1975. A United Nations operation, known as UNAMET (United Nations Mission in East Timor) oversaw the elections. However, although overwhelmingly voting for independence, the country experienced a wave of violence from internal pro-Indonesian forces. The United Nations moved to establish a multinational peacekeeping force in East Timor, led by Australia and called Interfet (international Force For East Timor). The aim was in "restoring peace and security and facilitating humanitarian assistance operations". The force began on 12 September 1999 under the command of Australian General Peter Cosgrove.
    The flags on the front of the card represen the countries involved in Interfet : Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Fiji, France, Germany, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Philipines, Singapore, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

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