Dili, 14 February 2000
Central Sector under control of UNTAET PKF
The command of Central Sector of East Timor, between Dili and Same, was handed over today to UNTAET Peacekeeping Force in a ceremony in Dili.
Two hundred troops from Interfet and UNTAET PKF had a parade that included the change of flags and the change of berets. Brigadier Matryn Dunn, New Zealand, pass on the control of the new commander, Colonel Lima Pinto.
Central Sector will also have a Kenyan company and a unit of Military Police from Brazil.
"I know that our task is very great, very challenging, but I am very confident that with your commitment and dedication we shall be able to achieve our mission in East Timor'" said General Jaime de los Santos, Force Commander of UNTAET PKF in the ceremony to the troops.
On Sunday, talking to the press about the Portuguese battalion, SRSG said that the configuration of the Portuguese battalion is "original and unprecedented". From its 800 troops, the Portuguese battalion has 300 officials specialized in areas that have more to do with the reconstruction of the civil structure and the public services than with exclusive military activities. "This is extremely important", SRSG said.
Tomorrow at noon, Interfet will hand over the enclave of Oecussi to UNTAET PKF. Troops from Australia and Jordan, the new battalion, will parade together before the change of flags. Like today in Dili, Major general peter Cosgrove and Lt. General De los Santos will address the troops.
NCC meets tomorrow.
Following a three-week recess, the National Consultative Council of east Timor is to hold its fifth session Tuesday.
The NCC members will be briefed by SRSG Sergio Vieira de Mello on his recent trip to Geneva and New York, and his briefing to the Security Council.
CNRT president Xanana Gusmao is also to brief the Council on his tour of six Asian countries.
The Director of UNTAET Political Affairs Division Peter Galbraith will report on the last stage of negotiations with Indonesia regarding normalization of relations with East Timor.
Items on tomorrow's agenda include border service for east Timor, civil administration, banking, organization of courts and tax and customs regime. Regulations on these matters are expected to be considered for adoption at the meeting scheduled for 19 of February.
The Council is also to discuss the agenda for the special session which is to be held on February 17 with the Secretary General.