Timor-Leste, helped to independence by UN, sends police to help UN in Kosovo

9 December 2005

Underscoring the remarkable progress it has made since the United Nations helped it to independence in 2002, Timor-Leste, the world’s youngest country, is sending 10 police officers to serve in the UN Police unit in Kosovo, which the world body has administered since 1999.

The officers were trained by the UN Mission in Timor Leste (UNOTIL), the successor to earlier missions which saw the Southeast Asian nation through independence after it voted in a referendum to break away from Indonesia, which took over the former Portuguese colony in 1975.

The selection of the team for Kosovo shows the “remarkable progress and professionalism” of the Timor Leste police, Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special Representative in the country, Sukehiro Hasegawa, said.

The UN has administered Kosovo since North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) forces drove out Yugoslav troops amid grave human rights abuses in fighting between majority Albanians and Serbs in 1999.


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