Joint UN-Timorese police training exercise takes place ahead of elections

28 July 2011

United Nations police officers serving in Timor-Leste have held a joint training exercise with national police officers to ensure that presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for next year in the South-East Asian country take place smoothly.

Yesterday’s exercise, the first in a series of similar training activities, was held in the capital, Dili, according to a press release issued by the UN peacekeeping force in Timor-Leste (UNMIT).

Officers from UN Police (UNPOL) and their counterparts from the Timorese police service (known as PNTL) learned how to deal with election operations, natural disasters and civil disorder.

“The success of the elections is important to us all,” said UNPOL Commissioner Luis Carrilho. “By focusing on security during the election period, we support the democratic process.”

UNPOL has progressively handed over policing responsibilities to the PNTL across the country and is now tasked with training, advising and mentoring PNTL officers.

UNMIT said it plans to maintain a presence of about 1,280 UNPOL personnel until after next year’s elections, when the mission is slated to withdraw.


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