Subject: LUSA: After threats, UN envoy asks for police posts at displaced camps

18-08-2006 11:11:00. Fonte LUSA. Notícia SIR-8264522 Temas:

East Timor: After threats, UN envoy asks for police posts at displaced camps

Dili, Aug. 18 (Lusa) - UN mission chief Sukehiro Hasegawa asked Australian peacekeepers Friday to set up police posts at camps for tens of thousands of displaced people around the East Timorese capital following recent threats and attacks.

The Japanese UN diplomat explained his initiative at a Dili news conference, saying he requested additional security measures after recent disturbances at camps sheltering nearly 80,000 people in and around Dili.

"On Thursday there was a threat of an attack against the Obrigado Barrack camp and today we were informed that three Molotov Cocktails were thrown into the camp" without igniting, Hasegawa said.

While the firebombs caused no injuries or damage, he said about 3,000 of the camp's 8,000 displaced had fled to uncertain destinations in fear of new communal violence.

The setting up of police posts at Dili camps would "increase the sense of security", he said, adding that the posts should remain in place until the expected arrival of a new nearly 1,500-strong UN police and military peacekeeping force.

The UN Security Council was expected to approve the creation of the new mission, which will replace the current Australian-led international force in East Timor, Friday in New York.

Hasegawa underlined that once security was fully assured and the estimated 152,000 displaced returned home voluntarily it would be "absolutely necessary" to continue providing humanitarian aid.

UN police should continue patrols and set up neighborhood posts, he added.

Prime Minister José Ramos Horta said Thursday that UN relief agencies would soon reroute aid distribution from the camps to home areas to encourage the displaced to return home.

While there has been no serious violence in Dili for about two months, simmering communal tensions between eastern "lorosae" and western "loromuno" and sporadic clashes have continued to hobble efforts to get the displaced home.

The crisis, that led to the deployment of a four-nation international peacekeeping force in late May, including Portuguese police, and the resignation of Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri in June, erupted in late April in clashes between rival security forces factions.

The violence increasingly took on a communal character with arson attacks and looting throughout the capital.

According to UN officials, 37 were killed and more than 150,000 displaced, primarily in Dili, a city of about 130,000.

SAS/JCS.

Lusa

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