Subject: AUSGOV: Humanitarian Law Training/FDTL Training



Votes and Proceedings




Humanitarian Law Training

(Question No. 3584)

Mr McClelland asked the Minister for Defence, in writing, on 29 May 2006:

(1) Will he provide details of the humanitarian law training given to East Timorese troops by the Australian military during its first deployment to East Timor.

(2) Will he outline the institution-building aspects of its original reconstruction program which assisted the East Timorese to develop a legislative framework for their security services and build an apolitical, legally restrained Defence Force.

(3) What institution-building and humanitarian law instruction is the ADF in Al-Muthanna providing to the Iraqi personnel it is training.

(4) Will he provide an outline of the overall plan to assist the Iraqis in developing a stable legal and practical framework for their Defence Forces in order to avoid similar problems to those now being faced in East Timor.

Dr Nelson—The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

(1) During the lead up to the first Timorese elections (2002), the United Nations Transitional Authority in East Timor (UNTAET) appointed Falantil troops to assist in providing local security for these elections. These soldiers received basic training in orders for opening fire and detention procedures. This training was authorised by UNTAET’s Office of Defence Force Development and Australian Defence Force personnel assisted in delivering this training.

(2) Defence was not responsible for developing a legislative framework for the Timor-Leste security forces. This framework was developed by the United Nations and the transitional Government of Timor-Leste. On 1 February 2001, Falintil officially became Falintil-Forca de Defensa Timor-Leste (F-FDTL). As a response, the Defence Cooperation Program with Timor-Leste was established in 2001. It has assisted Timor-Leste to build a modest, affordable and sustainable defence force.

Australia has spent approximately $42 million on the Defence Cooperation Program with Timor-Leste.

As part of the Program, Australia has provided civilian advisers within the Timor-Leste Ministry of Defence on budgetary issues and defence policy. Policy advice has sought to link military planning to Government policy, endeavouring to ensure F-FDTL is apolitical.

(3) The Australian Army Training Team in Al Muthanna has provided classroom instruction, demonstrations, seminars, oneon- one counselling and mentoring on detainee management, the law of armed conflict, human rights, the rules of engagement and orders for opening fire to the Iraqi Army 2nd Brigade, 10th Division.

(4) A United States Department of Defense organisation, Multi National Transitional Command ­ Iraq, has overall responsibility for planning to train, mentor and equip the Iraqi Armed Forces and Police Forces. As part of this command, Australia provides Australian Defence Force advisers to the Iraqi Joint Headquarters and Defence civilian advisers to the Iraqi Ministry of Defence. These advisers provide advice to Iraqi defence officials on subjects including personnel, infrastructure, training, capability, governance and strategic policy. Defence has provided training for Iraqi defence officials in subjects including the law of armed conflict, emergency management, defence and civil-military cooperation.

--- Hansard

Wednesday, 16 August 2006


Timor-Leste Defence Force

(Question No. 3765)

Mr McClelland asked the Minister for Defence, in writing, on 22 June 2006:

(1) Did the Government place any conditions on continued funding for the training of the Timor-Leste Defence Force (FFDTL) during its original period of responsibility for the matter; if so, what were these conditions.

(2) What mechanism did the Government have in place to oversee the training of the F-FDTL to ensure it was meeting objectives.

Dr Nelson—The answer to the honourable member’s question is as follows:

(1) and (2) Since the establishment of the Defence Cooperation Program with Timor-Leste, our two governments have consulted regularly on a range of activities to support the development of the nascent Timor-Leste defence organisation. The activities and their funding are considered by Defence on an annual basis for the upcoming financial year. Defence Cooperation personnel in Timor-Leste engage regularly with their counterparts to design and implement activities in support of this objective. High level talks are held to discuss progress and strategic directions are considered for the development of future activities.

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