From the Overview: "Timor-Leste (also known as East Timor), is one of the world's youngest nation-states, having gained its independence from Indonesia on May 20, 2002. This marked the end of more than three centuries of foreign rule, including over 300 years of Portuguese rule followed by 24 years of Indonesian control. The nation's transition to independence was traumatic: Following a 1999 nationwide referendum that supported independence, violence led by paramilitary militias supported by elements of the Indonesian military killed around 1,300 Timorese and displaced nearly 500,000. Today, with a population of 1.3 million, Timor-Leste is one of the world's poorest nations, with one of Asia's highest illiteracy rates. Timor-Leste has made considerable strides in building stability and democratic institutions, although it continues to face many challenges in consolidating its democracy and developing its economy. The nation's 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections, conducted peacefully as a U.N. peacekeeping mission prepared to leave the country, were widely seen as a turning point in Timor-Leste's development. Subsequent presidential and parliamentary elections have seen high voter participation and have been considered by international observers to have been largely free and fair."
CRS In Focus, IF10320
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/