Subject: LUSA: Portuguese anti-riot instructors expected in Dili

18-12-2002 12:29:00. Notícia nº 4463487…

East Timor: Portuguese anti-riot instructors expected in Dili

Lisbon, Dec. 18 (Lusa) - An 11-member team of Portuguese Republican National Guardsmen (GNR) was expected to arrive in Dili Wednesday to provide anti-riot training to East Timorese security forces in the wake of deadly rioting two weeks ago.

The GNR command in Lisbon told Lusa Tuesday that the team, including a major and two captains, had arrived in Bali, Indonesia, and would fly to Dili Wednseday.

The anti-riot team would serve directly with East Timorese authorities, outside of the UN peacekeeping command, GNR headquarters said.

During the deadly rioting Dec. 3-4, Portuguese peacekeepers, breaking with the UN chain of command, responded promptly to protect Portuguese nationals and interests in Dili and to help restore order to the city's streets.

Both Timorese and Portuguese authorities criticized the delayed response of UN forces in Dili.

At the time, Lisbon's foreign minister, António Martins da Cruz, blasted what he termed UN "bureaucracy" for having delayed the dispatch from Portugal of GNR crowd-control experts, an offer Lisbon had made in June

ARA/SAS -Lusa-

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