Timor-Leste

UN-backed police academy opens in East Timor

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A police training college supported by the United Nations opened today in Dili, East Timor, with the first class of 50 cadets starting a three-month course.
The opening ceremony was attended by representatives of the Timorese leadership, civil society, the Church and the families of the cadets, as well as by senior officials from the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET), including Mr. Sergio Vieira de Mello, the head of the mission.

"For the memory of those who died, for those who have survived them, for your families, for the East Timorese society as a whole, I appeal to you to uphold at all times the highest values of an independent police," said Mr. Vieira de Mello, adding that their behavior would be crucial in establishing confidence in state institutions.

Meanwhile UNTAET has reported another fatal incident involving unexploded ordnance. Over the weekend, three boys were killed by a grenade, which exploded after they brought it home from the outside. The UN mission said the incident had occurred before a publicity campaign warning of the dangers of unexploded ordnance could begin.

Last week, three boys were killed and a fourth seriously injured near Baucau, when a shell they were throwing stones at detonated. Officials from UNTAET and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) met last week to plan a joint effort to raise public awareness of the serious threat posed by unexploded ordnance.