The United Nations Transitional Administration
in East Timor (UNTAET) has increased the presence of its international
police force in key areas of East Timor, following recent violent incidents.
The UNTAET Civilian Police (CIVPOL), which helps maintain law and order, has boosted patrols in Dili, Becora and Bairro Pite, and fifty CIVPOL officers are being trained and equipped to deal with public disorder until a Rapid Response Unit is in place in early March. All CIVPOL officers have been instructed to confiscate on the spot any weapon carried without a justifiable reason.
With the scheduled arrival of 255 additional men, the number of international civilian policemen in East Timor will jump to 632 by 15 February.
CIVPOL is also working to establish a new Timorese police force. Roughly twenty thousand application forms will be distributed throughout East Timor over the next two weeks, to fill 3,000 available positions in the future force.
In other news, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported today that the United States Navy and Marines are helping the organization to transport shelter material, non-food items and trucks aboard an amphibious vehicle to the East Timor enclave of Oecussi in West Timor.