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UNPOL hands policing responsibility to Timor Leste police…ex Indonesia colony

DILI, Oct. 31 (Xinhua) — United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor Leste Police (UNPOL) terminated mission in Timor Leste, the world’s youngest nation, on Wednesday and handed full policing power to the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL), a statement from the UN said here.

The PNTL was certified by Timor Leste Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao and Acting Special Representative of UN Secretary-General and the Head of the UN Mission in Timor-Leste, Finn Reske-Nielsen, following a joint assessment by PNTL and UNPOL.

A ceremony was held on Wednesday here to mark the certification.

“Today, I am pleased to announce that PNTL is assuming full responsibility for maintaining law and order in Timor-Leste, ” Gusmao said in the statement.

“The PNTL has made significant progress in strengthening its capacity,” he said.

Gusmao thanked the UN and the international community for assistance in strengthening Timor Leste’s policing capabilities.

The PNTL and UNPOL had worked side-by-side for more than six years to develop PNTL’s capacity to maintain law and order in Timor-Leste, Nielsen said in the statement.

“The PNTL has taken big steps forward in that time and has performed well since taking on policing responsibility,” he said.

“Timor-Leste’s progress towards peace and stability and in strengthening key institutions including the national police means the country is ready for UNMIT (the United Nation Mission in Timor Leste) to leave,” said Nielsen.

The UN peacekeepers were deployed in 2006 after a political crisis and are due to leave the 10-year-old impoverished country by the end of this year.

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