22 August 2014

Timor-Leste: The Continuing Challenge of Police Building and Security Governance

ETLJB 22/08/2014 From Security Sector Reform Resource Centre By Deniz Kocak TIMOR-LESTE AUG 19, 2014 - Twelve years after independence, Timor-Leste currently experiences relative political stability. Even after the pull-out of UN armed personnel at the end of 2012, no serious incidents troubled the country as in 2006 during the violent clashes between members of the police and the military, or the almost deadly assaults on the Timorese President and Prime Minister in 2008.

However, this stability should not be misinterpreted. Indeed the relative calm is mainly a result of Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao’s “buying peace” policy. Based on Timor-Leste’s petrol revenue, the Gusmao administration was able to appease warring political camps and particular interests of veterans who had fought against Indonesia’s occupation of Timor-Leste. But, behind the facade of economic growth and political stability, grave human security issues have opened up. The short-lived and politically motivated outbreak of violence by paid demonstrators during the parliamentary elections in 2012 as well as the recent campaigns by the Timorese police and military against organized veteran groups point to a possible future scenario of discord in a country, in which more than 50 percent of the population are unemployed.

During the July 2012 clashes, the Policia Nacional de Timor-Leste (PNTL) – the country’s local police force – could resort to backup support from the United Nations Police (UNPOL) and the local military, the FALINTIL-Forcas Armadas da Libertacao Nacional de Timor-Leste (F-FDTL). Read the full story at http://www.ssrresourcecentre.org/2014/08/19/timor-leste-the-continuing-challenge-of-police-building-and-security-governance/

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