West Timor

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West Timor is the western and Indonesian portion of the island of Timor and part of the province of East Nusa Tenggara, (Indonesian: Nusa Tenggara Timur).

During the colonial period it was known as "Dutch Timor" and was a centre of Dutch loyalists during the Indonesian National Revolution (1945–1949). From 1949 to 1975 it was known as "Indonesian Timor".[citation needed]



European colonization of Timor began in the 16th century. Although the Portuguese claimed the island of Timor in 1520, the Dutch (in the form of the Dutch East India Company) settled West Timor in 1640, forcing the Portuguese out to East Timor. The subsequent collapse of the company meant that in 1799 the area returned to official Dutch rule. Finally, in 1914 the border between East and West Timor was finalized by a treaty between Holland and Portugal that was originally signed in 1859 and modified in 1893.

West Timor had the status of residentie within the Dutch East Indies.

Japan conquered the island during World War II in early 1942. Upon Indonesian independence, West Timor became part of the new Republic of Indonesia.

On 6 September 2000, three UNHCR staff members were attacked and killed in Atambua, a town in West Timor (see Attacks on humanitarian workers).


West Timor is a political region that comprises the western half of Timor island with the exception of Oecussi-Ambeno district (which is politically part of East Timor) and forms a part of the Indonesian province of Nusa Tenggara Timur, (NTT or East Nusa Tenggara). The land area of West Timor is 15,850 km². The highest point of West Timor is Mount Mutis (2427m).

Rote Island, the southernmost island of Indonesia, is southwest of West Timor.

West Timor's largest town and chief port is Kupang.


West Timur is part of the East Nusa Tenggara province. The island is split into four regencies (local government districts); from west to east these are: Kupang, Timor Tengah Selatan (South Central Timor), Timor Tengah Utara (North Central Timor) and Belu. The city of Kupang is a fifth regency-level administrative area.

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