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02 March 2013

Murders in Timor-Leste the result of land disputes and "other causes"

ETLJB 02 March 2013 - There has been an apparent spate of murders across East Timor according to several media reports over the last few days.

On 28 February, Radio Timor Leste reported comments by the National Police Deputy Commander, Commissioner of Police Afonso de Jesus, that the security situation in the country is under control by the police despite several homicides.

“I want say that the recent security situation in the whole of the national territory is under control including the capital, Dili, despite some homicides having been committed. They will not not impact the security situation,” De Jesus said.

He added the police were investigation recent incidents in Dili to find the perpetrators.

On the same day, Suara Timor Lorosae reported remarks by military chief,Major General Lere Anan Timur, after a meeting with President Taur Matan Ruak on Wednesday, 27/02, the a man had been killed in front of the Presidential Palace and another had been killed in the suburb of Santa Cruz. According to an English translation of that report, the Major General believes that the murders were committed by members of organised crime.

But the Deputy Police Commander de Jesus is reported to have denied the involvement of organised crime in the murders. Radio Timor Leste reported yesterday, 1 March 2013, that Commissioner of Police Afonso de Jesus said the recent incidents that have happened in the capital of Dili were not part of any organised plan but was, rather, spontaneous.

Radio Timor Leste cited Commissioner de Jesus as saying that “the recent murders of young people in the area of Aitarak Laran were spontaneous" as were those that had been committed in two other districts, namely,  Viqueque and Baucau.

He added the recent homicide violence happened in the country as a land dispute and other problems that were yet to be determined. Sources: Radio Timor-Leste, Suara Timor Lorosae Edited by Warren L. Wright

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