53, East Timorese guerrilla leader, was widely expected to lead the newly independent East Timor through its uneasy period of transition. He is seen as a conciliator who can work with both East Timorese and the Indonesian government, which watched idly as militias launched a campaign of terror on the tiny territory after it voted in August to separate from Indonesia. He has been fighting for independence since the 1970s, since Indonesia annexed East Timor after the Portuguese withdrawal. He was jailed in 1992 and released in September by B. J. Habibie, then president of Indonesia. Many acknowledge that Gusmão should have shared the 1996 Nobel Peace Prize with José Ramos-Horta and Bishop Carlos Ximenes Belo.
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