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Visiting UN experts assess Timorese police and security sector

Visiting UN experts assess Timorese police and security sector

A team of experts from United Nations Headquarters in New York has arrived in Timor-Leste to assess key areas where the world body has been supporting the young nation, including the development of its police force.

Led by UN Police Advisor Andrew Hughes, the team includes officials from the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), the UN Development Fund (UNIFEM), the International Centre for Transitional Justice, the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT), and the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL).

They will consult with a wide range of actors during the 11-day visit, including political leaders, Government officials, and key members of civil society.

In addition to examining the progress made by the PNTL, the team will also consider how best to support the overall reform of the National Police and the wider security sector.

At a meeting last month with the leadership of the former ruling party Fretilin, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Timor-Leste, Atul Khare, stressed that security sector reform is a priority area and its success will be critical for the nation, which the UN helped shepherd to independence in 2002.

The fledgling nation has faced a number of security-related challenges during its short period of independence, including violent clashes that erupted in 2006 and, just last month, attacks on the Timorese President and Prime Minister.