Subject: Lusa: Dili could face security vacuum after UN pullout - Kofi Annan

East Timor: Dili could face security vacuum after UN pullout - Kofi Annan

Washington, Sept. 18 (Lusa) - East Timor could face serious problems of security and governance after the scheduled departure of the United Nations from the new nation next year, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has warned.

In a report [] presented to the UN General Assembly Wednesday, Annan said Timor still faces "significant challenges" in state security, with urgent need for the Timorese police to be strengthened to take on sole responsibility for national security.

Dili could need "more resources" to implement its plans to form more special police units, including border guards and rapid deployment forces, Annan said.

Timor`s justice system has achieved "considerable progress", Annan informed the General Assembly, although there are still "serious worries" over lack of training facilities for judges and a generally difficult access to justice.

Annan also voiced concern that in 2003, only about 100 of the estimated 28,000 Timorese refugees in Indonesian West Timor had returned home.

The UNMISET mission in Timor "continues to take necessary measures to guarantee national security" and ensure "government structures are operational", although it is "uncertain that Dili will have achieved all its objectives by May, 2004, before the UN departure", said Annan.

"Until this emerging nation becomes self-sufficient, it is essential that its development partners continue to help the government to strengthen state capacities", Annan reported to the General Assembly.

JP/CJB -Lusa-

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