CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian army general who led an international peacekeeping mission that ended a bloody rampage following East Timor’s vote for independence returned to the national capital Dili on Thursday to mark the 20th anniversary of his arrival.

Peter Cosgrove had just been appointed the commander of 10,000 troops that comprised the International Force in East Timor when he first arrived in the razed city on Sept. 19, 1999. Pro-Indonesian militias had run riot since the East Timorese overwhelmingly voted for independence from Indonesia at a ballot on Aug. 30, 1999.

The 72-year-old, who retired as Australia’s governor general in July, is in East Timor with Defense Minister Linda Reynolds and Minister for Veterans Affairs and Defense Personnel Darren Chester to commemorate with East Timor officials the Australia-led mission that brought peace.