Subject: AFP: Timor police chief resigns, no replacement lined up

Agence France Presse

January 12, 2007

Timor police chief resigns, no replacement lined up

JAKARTA, Jan 12 2007

East Timor's police chief and his two deputies have resigned but no reason was given, the interior minister of the troubled nation said Friday.

Interior Minister Alcino Barris said police commissioner Paulo Fatima Martins would however continue to work in the force.

"(Martins) resigned as general commissioner but will still be working as a superintendent," Barris told reporters.

Deputy police chiefs Ismail Babo and Nuno Saldanha also resigned their posts but remained as inspectors.

"Even though they submitted resignation letters, they are still members of the police force and will still receive their salaries," Barris explained.

The minister said he had no candidates lined up to replace the three.

East Timor's police force was pulled from the streets following violence in April and May last year after clashes between security force factions which quickly degenerated into street violence.

A commission has been reevaluating all police officers to see whether they should resume duty or face disciplinary or judicial action in relation to the violence.

The unrest led to the deaths of at least 37 people and forced about 15 percent of East Timor's population to flee their homes.

Stability has largely returned to the fledgling nation following the arrival of foreign peacekeepers and UN police and the installation of a new government in July headed by Prime Minister Jose Ramos-Horta, a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

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