Ban lauds transfer of police responsibility from UN mission to Timorese force

28 March 2011
Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao and SRSG Ameerah Haq  exchange letters for transferring  policing responsibilities

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today welcomed the transfer of responsibilities for all police operations in Timor-Leste from the United Nations mission to the country’s national force, calling it an important step for the young nation.

The UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) and the Policia Nacional de Timor-Leste (PNTL) have worked together for more than four years to build the capacity of the national police to maintain law and order.

The UN police assumed security functions following the deadly violence that broke out in 2006 in which dozens of people were killed and 155,000 others, or 15 per cent of the population, were driven from their homes.

Mr. Ban congratulated the Government for the achievement that this resumption of responsibilities represents in enabling the maintenance of law and order in the country, which the UN shepherded to independence in 2002 after it broke away from Indonesia.

“He sees this event as an important step in the institutional development of the PNTL nearly five years after the 2006 crisis,” his spokesperson said in a statement.

The handover of responsibility from UNMIT to the PNTL that took place on Sunday in the capital, Dili, marked the culmination of a process that began two years ago, when the PNTL resumed policing responsibilities in the district of Lautém.

UNMIT will continue to provide advice and support to the Timorese Government to address any remaining gaps and weaknesses and to support the further institutional development and capacity-building of the national police.


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