20 December 2008

East Timor Security Update November-December 2008

East Timor Security Update Source: Joint NGO Security Office and UNMIT - The overall security situation in Timor Leste is calm. Dili and the districts have been generally quiet However, the rainy season has started and deterioration in road conditions has occurred in the Western districts.

Additionally, the following are of note:

20 – 27 NOVEMBER

• There were 72 recorded incidents across Timor Leste. This is higher than the last reporting period (69). UN Police (UNPol) made 83 arrests.

There was continued tension at Metinaro IDP camp although it is reported to have subsided after the visit of the EU Commissioner to the camp. Nonetheless hostility to MSS remains and the camp will likely remain volatile into the medium term, particularly with the onset of the rains.

Two relatively serious disturbances occurred in Santa Cruz on 19 November, both at approximately 1900hrs: Fighting between PSHT and Kera Sagti Martial Arts Groups (MAGs) in the Santa Cruz cemetery and; conflict between two Aldeias in the area north of the cemetery. It is believed that the two incidents are not related. UNPol, PNTL and F-FDTL MPs responded and the area has been quiet since.

UN vehicles continue to be stoned along the Comoro road between (approximately) Comoro Police Station and the Airport roundabout but mainly around Timor Lodge/airport roundabout, mostly after dark. This is likely as a result of the recent hit and run incident in the vicinity of Comoro Police Station.


• There were 70 recorded incidents across Timor Leste. This is lower than the last week (72). UN Police (UNPol) made 72 arrests.

* There have been some reports of tension between the F-FDTL personnel stationed at Metinaro Training Centre and the IDPs.

* NGO staff and others have detected some limited tensions in Ermera district. Elements of the community may be jealous of the money recently received by Petitioners living locally. Some of this tension may also be connected to promises made to local people by some of these some Petitioners in 2006/07. However this tension will most likely manifest itself in small incidents – fights, arguments etc rather than communal or gang type violence.

* On 27 November at approximately 15:15hrs, a vehicle carrying an international and two other Timorese males (including the driver) had a motor vehicle accident with a motorbike in the vicinity of Metinaro IDP Camp. The driver of the bike was seriously injured, the passenger only lightly. When the international got out of the car to provide assistance, he was attacked by residents of the Camp and received a serious head injury from a machete strike in addition to a number of other blows. The vehicle was attacked with stones and sticks while the driver fled. Other residents of the camp rendered basic first aid to the international until the police arrived and calmed the situation. The international was brought to Dili hospital and released the next day.


* There were 68 recorded incidents across Timor Leste. This is lower than the last week (70). UN Police (UNPol) made 70 arrests.

* There has been a notable increase in the districts of persons demanding money from passing vehicles after doing “road works”.

* Both the head of the F-FDTL Brigadier General Taur Matan Ruak and the former Defense Minister Roque Rodrigues were questioned by the Prosecutor Generals inquiry into the events of April/May 2006.

* There were reports of relatively minor conflict between catholic and protestant persons in Briscamp village in Aileu. Police have responded to incident and have increased their presence in the village and have begun mediation between the groups.

* Preparations for the deployment of F-FDTL units to assist border policing continue.

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