Subject: RA: Security real concern says new UN police chief 

ABC Radio Australia Connect Asia

TIMOR: Security real concern says new UN police chief

14 December 2006

The United Nations in East Timor has expressed its sadness over what it calls the 'senseless death' of the UN police interpreter, Antonio Martins. The murder comes as the UN's new police commissioner in East Timor, Rodolfo Tor, takes office this week. Presenter/Interviewer: Zulfikar Abbany

Speakers: Rodolfo Tor, the UN's new police commissioner in East Timor

TOR: Oh yes it so happened that on that day he was there, he suffered this unfortunate event, but it must not stop the mission from doing what it is mandated to do. We have to perform our mission, the incident was unfortunate but we have policemen who'll be investigating it.

ABBANY: And as yet there's no mention on possible motive, whether this was a targeted attack against UN personnel or just a random attack?

TOR: No we don't have that information; he was a victim of a fight among a group of persons. So we still have to find out the motive of this incident.

ABBANY: But given the situation this death and there have been other killings recently and news of increased police patrols in the capital of Dili, how concerned are you at the start of your tenure as UN police commissioner, how concerned are you about the security situation in East Timor?

TOR: Of course we understand that we have to maintain peace and order in East Timor and we have to perform the required police actions on this matter. For example we have to do a lot of foot patrolling and frequent police mobiles and increase our presence in the city of Dili.

ABBANY: So your immediate plans for security in East Timor and let's say particularly the capital of Dili involve getting people on the street, police officers on the street, or do you have any more integrated plans that say with the political elite in East Timor?

TOR: Yes, we have an existing operational plan to maintain peace and order. We provide security, we provide police presence, we undertake police investigations of cases, and we can bolster coordination with existing forces here, including international security force from Australia and New Zealand.

ABBANY: But I mean it was just agreed that the United Nations integrated mission in Timor Leste would oversee the majority of policing in East Timor. What does that mean?

TOR: Yes it means right now that we will enforce the law and maintain peace and order in the area, and at the same time we will build up the national police of Timor by strengthening their capacity to perform their functions through training, and managing the police.

ABBANY: So do you believe that the political situation in East Timor has let's say stabilised enough for, will security continue to be a problem right up to the elections, which is scheduled for early next year?

TOR: I am not in a position to talk about political issues now, but I can tell you that we are in the process of going into this and in fact several political events have done in this country towards this unity and political stability.

ABBANY: I'm just interested in finding out whether you as United Nations police commissioner, whether you've been able to assess whether the politicians in East Timor will play along with the task of security the situation in East Timor and that they won't try to stir up the situation in the run-up to the elections next year? That must be a concern of course?

TOR: Yeah of course, I believe everybody here is concerned about the peaceful election next year. So we are in close contact with the government, that is the desire that these elections should push through peacefully. (ABC Radio ­Asia Pacific) 

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