|Subject: LUSA: East Timorese Police Soon to
Replace Gusmao's Brazilian Bodyguards
East Timor: East Timorese Police Soon to Replace Gusmao's Brazilian Bodyguards 20 Abr-20:57
The Brazilian military police serving as Xanana Gusmao's bodyguard corps will in the near future be replaced by an East Timorese unit, the territory's police commander said on Friday.
Superintendant [sic] Paulo Martins described the upcoming change to the East Timorese leader's security detail in comments to the Dili- based newspaper Suara Timor Lorosae.
Security for Jose Ramos Horta and East Timor's armed forces commander, Brig. Gen. Taur Matan Ruak, will also soon pass over to the East Timorese police, Martins said.
He specified that an English police team was currently in the territory training the East Timorese security unit, with the first six-man team including the police force's "best".
"They are 100 percent trained for the job. They are receiving even more training, but they already have experience because they served in the Indonesian police" during the Indonesian occupation of East Timor, Martins said, cited by Suara Timor Lorosae.
"The first six were members of Brimob (mobile police brigade) and were trained in Jakarta as expert sharpshooters", he added.
Queried by Lusa about the report, Xanana Gusmao said Friday he would miss his Brazilian bodyguards after they leave.
"They are very professional people and very open. Obviously, we have built up a relationship that goes beyond professional questions", Gusmao said.
"They have supported me in relations with people of the neighborhood. I'll be sorry when the contingent returns to Brazil", he added.
Security for the three East Timorese leaders has, at their request, been the responsibility of Brazilian units since late 1999. The current team is drawn from the Rio de Janeiro's 1st Battalion of Military Police, who arrived in Feb[r]uary and will be relieved by counterparts from the 4th Battalion from the north Brazilian city of Recife. Other platoons from Porto Alegre and Brasilia have also served tours of duty in East Timor.
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