Atambua is a Desa, a district ( kecamatan ) and the capital of the Indonesian government district ( kabupaten ) Belu. It is located in West Timor, belonging to the province of East Nusa Tenggara, near the border with East Timor.
The district is in the Atambua Desa Fatubenao ( 7,664 inhabitants in 2010 ), Atambua ( 3591 ), Manumutin ( 9994 ) and Tenukiik ( 5147 ).
The district has 26 396 inhabitants Atambua (2010). The population mostly speaks Tetum as a mother tongue. Minorities use Kemak, Uab Meto or Bunak.
Atambua is the seat of the diocese Atambua, which is subordinate to the Archdiocese of Kupang. Bishop since 2007 Dominic Saku. In the diocese, which also includes the administrative regions of North Central Timor and Malaka include, live 493 044 inhabitants in 5177 km ². 96.5 % of them are Catholics.
Between December 1974 and February 1975, an eight -strong team of Indonesian Special Forces Kopassandha in Atambua began preparing for Operation Flamboyan, with the previously infiltrated the Portuguese colony and independence, decency, should be prevented. 216 men of the East Timorese party APODETI which propagated a connection Portuguese Timor to Indonesia were trained here as partisans. Their commander was Tomás Gonçalves, son of Guilherme Gonçalves, the last messenger of Koronel Atsabe - Kemak and later Indonesian Governor of East Timor. The Portuguese government sent in January 1975, a delegation to Atambua to move the men to return to Portuguese Timor, but had no success. The end of April Kopassandha was reinforced by 80 men.
After a failed coup attempt against the UDT FRETILIN on 11 August 1975 in Portuguese Timor, Manuel Carrascalão, one of the UDT - founder fled to Atambua. Carrascalão was later one of the key proponents of East Timor's independence from the occupying power, Indonesia.
On 6 September 2000 three UNHCR workers were killed in an East Timorese refugee camp in Atambua. The UN Security Council demanded that Indonesia with UN Resolution 1319 to take action against the militias, who had their bases in West Timor, to disarm them and to secure the refugee camp and the border. From Atambua from the East Timorese Tome Diogo said to have carried out 2002 raids on East Timor in December.