Subject: Portuguese Peacekeepers to Return from ET in May

BBC Monitoring International Reports

April 10, 2004


Text of a report by Portuguese news agency Lusa web site:

The first group of Portuguese peacekeeping troops will return from East Timor on 5 May, and the last is expected to depart the territory six days later, a military source told (news agency) Lusa on Saturday (10 April).

Taking part in the UNMISET (United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor, established in May 2002), Portugal currently has 503 soldiers stationed in East Timor, including 117 marine and army commandos. The UNMISET mandate, in its current form, expires on 20 April. The Portuguese forces are stationed in Dili (General Headquarters) and in the sub-units of Becora (Dili district) and Aileu and Baucau.

Before their departure, the Portuguese troops will hand over, to the Timorese government, the equipment used by the peacekeeping forces, estimated to be worth more than 15m dollars.

There are 1,750 soldiers and 192 policemen and military observers currently assigned to the UNMISET, including 16 Portuguese Public Security Police staff, two GNR (Republican National Guard) policemen and two officials at the Foreigners and Borders Services (SEF).

Source: Lusa news agency web site, Lisbon, in Portuguese 1131 gmt 10 Apr 04

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