Subject: AFP/AP: UN extends Timor mission

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UN extends Timor mission
From correspondents in United Nations May 13, 2006

THE UN Security Council has unanimously approved a one-month extension of the UN mission in East Timor until June 20 and urged Timorese authorities to address the causes of the recent wave of violence in the territory.

The 15-member body also overnight directed UN chief Kofi Annan to brief the council by June 6 on the situation in the former Portuguese Pacific colony and the future role of the UN mission there.

The 45-member UN office in Timor-Leste (UNOTIL) is due to end its mission on May 19 after nearly six years, having helped prop up East Timor following Indonesia's long occupation.

UNOTIL said a continued UN presence in East Timor would include electoral assistance, UN police advisers, military liaison officers and civilian advisers.

The tiny nation of about one million, which gained independence in 2002, is due to hold general elections next year.

In his latest report on East Timor, Mr Annan recommended the phased deployment of 25 UN policemen during an initial period, subject to change as the electoral campaigns intensify at a later date.

He said the force should be deployed for a period of 12 months, beginning on May 21.

On April 28, the East Timorese capital, Dili, was rocked by a riot that saw at least five people killed and more than 100 buildings destroyed or damaged, while more than 20,000 people fled the capital in fear afterward.

It began with a rally in support of nearly 600 soldiers who were sacked when they deserted their barracks complaining of ethnic discrimination.

The territory was a Portuguese colony until Indonesia invaded it in 1975, ushering in 24 years of brutal occupation by Jakarta, during which human rights groups estimate 100,000 to 250,000 people were killed.

The Indonesian occupation ended in 1999, when the people of East Timor overwhelmingly voted in favour of independence in a referendum supervised by the United Nations.


Security Council extends East Timor mission

Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS - The U.N. Security Council extended the mandate of the U.N. office in East Timor for another month Friday as it weighs a possible response to violence last month in the tiny nation.

The council unanimously adopted a resolution that asks U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to report back on the situation in East Timor, where a conflict between nearly 600 dismissed soldiers and the military escalated into rioting that killed five and destroyed dozens of houses late last month.

The U.N. office in East Timor that helped to build government infrastructure and trained border troops had been scheduled to shut down on May 20 for good.

In a report to the council earlier this month, Annan had recommended installing a new U.N. political office for a year in East Timor as the country prepares for elections set for 2007.

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