Subject: UN's Annan submits recommendations on new E.Timor mission

UN's Annan submits recommendations on new East Timor mission

DILI, August 12 (AFP) -- UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has asked the Security Council to approve a new year-long mission to East Timor in the wake of deadly violence earlier this year, a statement received Saturday said.

The current mission in East Timor is due to wrap up operations on August 20 after already being extended amid unrest in May, which led to the deaths of at least 21 people and the deployment of some 3,200 foreign peacekeepers here.

At least 150,000 people in the nation of about one million are estimated by the UN to remain in makeshift camps, still too uncertain of the security situation to return to their homes.

The new mission would support the government -- whose previous prime minister stepped down to take responsibility for the crisis -- and promote political stability, as well as assisting in 2007 elections, the current mission said in the statement.

Annan asked the council to approve a 12-month extendable mandate for the mission, which would include the boosting of a UN civilian police force to some 1,600 officers, it said.

Other recommendations included a "small military capacity" to help maintain a secure and stable environment, provide a rapid response force based in Dili that can assist the UN police and provide training and advice, it said.

Annan proposed a political affairs unit, an electoral component to assist in the polls due next May and a human rights and transitional justice unit to report on the rights situation and assist Timorese authorities in ensuring accountability for human rights abuses and redress for victims.

He also suggested various other units in what would be a substantial boost in UN activities in the half-island nation, which gained independence in 2002.

Annan emphasised to the council that the development of the tiny nation was a long-term process and that the international community's commitment "must correspondingly be a long-term one."

East Timor was ruled by Indonesia for 24 years before its people voted overwhelmingly in favour of breaking away from Jakarta and entered a period of UN stewardship.

The 15-member Security Council is expected to study Annan's report for approximately a week before voting on a resolution, the statement added.

May's violence was initially triggered by the dismissal of 600 soldiers -- almost half the nation's armed forces -- which led to protests and eventual factional fighting within the security forces. Communal violence also exploded on the streets of Dili.

---------------------- Joyo Indonesia News Service

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