Subject: XN: Brazilian soldiers head for East Timor to join UN peace mission

Brazilian soldiers head for East Timor to join UN peace mission

June 3, 2004 9:48pm

BRASILIA, Jun 3, 2004 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- A contingent of 75 Brazilian soldiers left here Thursday for East Timor to join the UN peacekeeping force in the Pacific island country, the military said.

The Brazilian soldiers will stay in a base previously used by the Australian army in the island's western city of Moliana.

In East Timor, the Brazilian peacekeepers' job will include escorting convoys, controlling traffic and investigating accidents that involve members of the UN force.

The UN force in East Timor comprises Australian, Brazilian, Japanese and Portuguese troops.

The United Nations has been cutting down its 3,000 member peacekeeping force in East Timor since its mandate for the mission ended on May 20.

The UN Security Council agreed last month to retain about 700 military and police advisers in East Timor into 2005.

Apart from the peacekeeping operation in East Timor, Brazil has offered 1,200 troops to the UN stabilization mission in Haiti. The first contingent of 161 soldiers and sailors left for Haiti last week.

Copyright 2004 XINHUA NEWS AGENCY.

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