PNTL resumes primary policing responsibilities in Manatuto 25 July 2009, Manatuto – Today the Special Representative of the Secretary - General of the United Nations for East Timor (SRSG) Atul Khare and Prime Minister Kay Rala Xanana Gusmao presided over the ceremony marking the resumption of primary responsibilities for the conduct of police operations by Policia Nacional de Timor-Leste (PNTL) in the District of Manatuto.
Manatuto is the third district where the PNTL is resuming primary policing responsibilities since the process started in May 2009 in the district of Lautem and continued in June 2009 for the district of Oecussi.
The Government of East-Timor and UNMIT are jointly implementing the resumption process in a gradual manner –“ district by district, unit by unit. The decision for Manatuto PNTL to resume primary policing responsibilities was made based on the result of rigorous assessments on the preparedness of PNTL in the district. The assessments were conducted by joint teams comprising representatives of the Government of East Timor and UNMIT, including PNTL and UNPOL, using mutually agreed criteria.
For a time UN Police will maintain their presence in the districts where the PNTL have resumed responsibilities, in order to monitor, advise and support the PNTL, including in the area of human rights protection.
Manatuto is one of the 13 districts of East Timor, located in the central part of the country, bordering capital Dili to the west. It reaches both the south and north coasts of the island, and is only one of two districts to do so (the other is Lautem in the far east) and has the most geographical diversity. The city of Manatuto is known for its salt production and abundance of tamarind. It has a population of 38,580 (census 2004) and an area of 1,706 km2.