- Title: UN/ FILE: UN council extends Timor peacekeeping mandate
- Date: 26th February 2008
- Summary: (AM) UNIDENTIFIED LOCATIONS, EAST TIMOR (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF UNREST IN EAST TIMOR TRUCKS BURNING VARIOUS OF MILITARY
- Embargoed: 12th March 2008 12:00
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVA22T5BM2E8SI5B8HMN48G98W5F
- Story Text: United Nations Security Council votes unanimously to extend its security mission in East Timor.
The U.N. Security Council on Monday (February 25) extended for another year the mandate for the U.N. peacekeeping mission in East Timor, saying the security and humanitarian situation in the country remained fragile.
The U.N. peacekeeping mission in East Timor, called UNMIT, is authorized to deploy up to 1,608 police and nearly three dozen military personnel. The mandate, which was due to expire on Tuesday, has been extended until Feb. 26, 2009.
The South African-drafted resolution, which was unanimously approved by the Security Council, reiterated its condemnation of the attempted assassination of East Timorese President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jose Ramos-Horta two weeks ago.
The resolution of the 15-nation council also said that "the political, security, social, and humanitarian situation in Timor-Leste (East Timor) remains fragile" and urged all interested parties in the country to shun violence and pursue peaceful dialogue to resolve all disagreements.
The resolution also urged the government to continue working with UNMIT on a comprehensive review of the security sector in East Timor and its future security needs.
Ramos-Horta was shot and seriously wounded at his home in the capital Dili in an assassination attempt by rebel soldiers on Feb. 11. Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao escaped injury in another shooting on the same day.
Both attacks are believed to have been carried out by followers of rebel leader Alfredo Reinado, who was killed during the attack on Ramos-Horta.
Arrest warrants have been issued against 17 people suspected of being involved in the attack while East Timor's police and international troops have been hunting for rebels hiding in hills near Dili. Around 200 fast reaction troops from Australia and more police were sent to the capital Dili after the attacks.
The former Portuguese colony of almost 1 million people gained full independence in 2002 after a U.N.-sponsored vote in 1999, which was marred by violence, ended more than two decades of Indonesian occupation.
The Asia-Pacific country has been struggling to get back on its feet after the army tore apart along regional lines in 2006.
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