Subject: LUSA: Kofi Annan urges new UN mission with almost 1,500 police, troops

14-08-2006 13:12:00. Fonte LUSA. Notícia SIR-8254322 Temas:

East Timor: Kofi Annan urges new UN mission with almost 1,500 police, troops

Washington, Aug. 14 (Lusa) - United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has proposed that nearly 1,500 police and troops be sent to East Timor as part of a new peacekeeping mission to replace an Australian-led international force sent to quell a wave of violence that killed at least 20 people, diplomatic sources have said.

In a report sent to the 15-nation UN Security Council at the weekend, Annan recommend up to 1,110 police officers and 350 soldiers, both "unarmed and armed", are deployed to the new mission, which, he added, should have an initial 12-month mandate.

As well as its peacekeeping and security role, the "multidimensional" mission would also support the Timorese government's efforts to ensure political stability in the run-up to presidential and parliamentary polls slated for 2007, Annan informed the Security Council in his 43-page report.

Reconstruction of Dili's battered economy and armed forces would also be facilitated by the new UN mission, said Annan, which would additionally assist the Timorese government's efforts to combat poverty and safeguard human rights.

After next year's general elections, added the UN chief, "about 600 police officers" would start to be gradually withdrawn from the international peacekeeping force to Timor.

The Security Council is due to meet Tuesday to discuss Annan's Timor report and is expected to approve a resolution later this week on the form and scale of its future presence in the world's newest nation.

A new UN-mandated peacekeeping mission would take over responsibility from the current international force comprising troops and police from Australia, Portugal, Malaysia and New Zealand, sent to Timor in May to halt a wave of deadly communal violence and arson.

Political turmoil and its ensuing bloodshed in Timor was sparked when former prime minister Mari Alkatiri's government sacked nearly a third of the tiny nation's military.

A new government headed by former foreign minister and Nobel Peace Prize winner José Ramos Horta took office last month.



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