Subject: LUSA: Local police replace UN officers in Oecusse enclave

East Timor: Local police replace UN officers in Oecusse enclave

Dili, Aug. 4 (Lusa) - East Timor's fledgling police force assumed responsibility for security in the Oecusse-Ambeno enclave Monday, replacing United Nations police.

With the transfer of authority in the enclave, wedged into the north coast of Indonesian West Timor, Dili's national police (PNTL) are now responsible throughout the country, with the exception of its two largest cities - Dili, the capital, and Baucau.

The ceremony in Oecusse-Ambeno was attended by Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, the head of the UN mission, Kamalesh Sharma, and Indonesian military and police officers.

"Despite the PNTL's not having yet attained its maximum capacity, we now have an institution that begins to be structured for the future", Alkatiri said.

He welcomed the presence of Indonesian officers, saying it signalled their commitment to "working with us for the development of both countries".

Sharma called on the enclave's Timorese police to serve the local population in respect for law and "total defense of human rights".

ASP/SAS Lusa

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