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Timor-Leste civil society supports UN-led security presence in Timor-Leste

translated from Tetum. which follows below.

Forum ONG Timor-Leste -- The Timor-Leste NGO Forum
Caicoli Street, Dili Timor-Leste
Phone: +670-7240107 or +670-7254912

22 August 2006

Statement of Civil Society Supporting a UN-led security presence in Timor-Leste

The serious violence that Timor-Leste has experienced for the past 5 months has created security conditions that have had serious repercussions. Many people have become victims of the conflict, having lost homes and some having lost members of their family. At present there are many internally displaced people all over the country. This situation led the government in May to take the decision to invite four nations to establish security and stability.

In June, Ian Martin, the Envoy of Secretary General of the UN Kofi Annan visited Timor-Leste to consult with the government, NGOs, religious organisations, and other sections of society. The outcome of these consultations formed the basis of recommendations for a new mission. Timor-Leste agreed to continue the mission of the UN in Timor-Leste operating with an improved role. Shortly after this, in June, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer began to lobby members of the Security Council to accept Australian leadership of a security presence during a UN Mission.

Last week the Security Council debated a new UN mission. But a decision on this could not be reached and UNOTIL was extended for a further week until 25 August while members debated the military component. Australia, as a member of the four-country Joint Task Force (JTF), does not want a UN-led military component and wants to maintain its current leadership position in the new mission. It is supported in these aims by the United States, the United Kingdom and Japan. However, the other three countries in the JTF – Portugal, New Zealand and Malaysia – agree on UN leadership.

In terms of the current security situation in Timor-Leste, there is a need for a military presence, as well as police, to instil a sense of security in displaced people and communities so that they can return home, to ensure justice for the victims of current conflict and to guarantee security for the 2007 general elections.

While Timor-Leste needs security for the reasons described above, we believe other broader reasons demonstrate that the UN are best placed to provide the military component of a security presence in our country.

The advantages of a UN military component are:

  1. There will be a greater degree of accountability for UN forces as it is a civilian led, international, neutral institution.

  2. Integrating the member countries of the JTF into a UN-led military presence will help build confidence in the members of the JTF and eliminate negative perceptions that are beginning to take root. In the context, it is important for the government of Timor-Leste to have a clear policy on which option it prefers and for what reasons.

  3. There is an inherently unequal relationship in Timor-Leste’s dealings with other more powerful countries on a bilateral basis. Working through the UN would avoid this situation.

For these reasons, civil society is very concerned about the possibility of an Australian-led military component, and takes the following position:

We support the presence of a UN-led military component in Timor-Leste. We ask that the JTF continue to provide security in Timor-Leste, but submits to the command of the new UN Mission. We ask that the United Nations Security Council come to a quick resolution of this issue to avoid further uncertainty over security that ultimately affects the people of Timor-Leste. We ask that the nations that support Australian leadership of the military component (United States, United Kingdom and Japan) accept UN leadership of this. We ask that the government of Timor-Leste define measures that are clear and definitive regarding a new UN-mission in our country.

Maria Angelina Sarmento, NGO Forum

Santina Soares, La’o Hamutuk

Representatives of Civil Society.

This statement is also signed by representatives of: Perkumpulan HAK, Institutu Edukasaun Popular (formerly Sah'e Institute for Liberation), Fokupers, Haburas, Permatil, JSMP, Rede Feto, Forum Tau Matan, Pradet, Laifet, Luta Hamutuk, APHEDA, ETADEP, Kdadalak Sulimutuk Institute, UNTL, Fortilos, Dai Popular, and PAS (Prontu Atu Servi).

For further information please contact: Santina Soares or Alex Grainger +670 3325013 or

Link to La'o Hamutuk page on who should lead international troops in Timor-Leste

Tetum original

Steitmentu Sosiadade Sivil Hodi Suporta Prezensa Misaun Foun Nasaun Unidus iha Timor-Leste

Konflitu ne’ebé akontese iha Timor-Leste durante fulan lima ikus hamosu violencia barak ne’ebé kria kondisaun siguransa iha rai laran sai problema seriu ba ema Timor-Leste. Povu barak mak sai hanesan vítima iha konflitu ida ne’e tamba sira barak mak lakon sira nia hela fatin no balun fahe malu ho nia familia no balun mos lakon sira nia familia. Povo barak mak oras ne’e deskoladus iha kampu refujiadus iha fatin barak iha Timor-Leste. Situasaun ne’e halo guvernu hodi foti desizaun hodi konvida nasaun hat mai iha Timor-Leste hodi fasilita kria fali establidade siguransa iha rai laran.

Iha fulan Junho liu ba delegadu Secretariu Geral nian Sr. Ian Martin mai visita Timor-Leste hodi konsulta ho guvernu Timor-Leste, NGOs no sociadade seluk – seluk tan hodi simu rekomendasaun hosi institusaun hirak ne’e ba misaun foun ONU nian. Timor-Leste konkorda prezensa ONU kontinua iha Timor-Leste maibe papel UNO tenki hadiak. Hafoin ida ne’e, iha fulan Junho, Ministru Estrajeiru Australia, Alexander Downer hahu lobi membru konselho siguransa hodi aseita katak Australia mak sei lidera prezensa siguranca durante Misaun UNO.

Desde semana kotuk to’o oras ne’e, konselhu siguranca ONU nian debate hela konaba Misaun foun UNO nian iha Timor-Leste. Maibé desizaun konaba misaun foun ne’e sei atraza no UNOTIL prolonga tiha ona to’o loron 25 Agustu wainhira membru sira debate hela konaba komponente militar iha Misaun foun UNO nian. Australia hanesan membru hosi nasaun hat Joint Task Force (JTF), la-konkorda ONU mak lidera komponente militar iha Misaun foun UNO no hakarak mantein nafatin pozisaun lideranca iha Misaun foun UNO nian. Nasaun sira ne’ebé mak suporta objektivu ne’e mak Estadus Unidus, Inglaterra ho Japaun. Maibé, nasaun tolú seluk ne’ebé membru JTF – Portugal, Nova Zelandia ho Malazia konkorda ho UNO ninia lideransa ba siguransa.

Refere ba situasaun siguransa aktúal ne’ebe agora dadauk Timor-Leste infrenta em jerál, klaru katak, presiza siguransa militar nomós policia atu fo siguransa ba komunidade no deslokasus nunu’e sira bele fila ba uma, bele iha justisa ba vítima sira ne’ebé iha konflitu ida ne’e, no oinsa atu garanti siguransa ba eleisaun jerál 2007.

Maske Timor-Leste presiza duni siguransa tamba razaun hirak ne’ebé esplika iha leten ne’e, maibe ami fiar katak razaun sira ne’ebe luan liu hatudu katak UNO iha pozisaun no fatin ida diak liu hodi fornese komponente militar ba prezensa forsa siguransa iha ami nia rain.

Vantamgem hosi komponente militar mak:

  1. Sei iha valor ida bo’ot liu no akontablidade ba forca UNO hanesan lideransa sivil iha UNO, internasional no neutru.

  2. Integra nasaun membru JTF ba lideransa UNO nian ba prezensa militar sei ajuda harí konfianca ba membru JTF no minimiza hanoin negativu ne’ebé povo komesa hetan. Iha kontekstu ne’e importante duni ba guvernu Timor-Leste iha politika ne’ebe klaru konaba opsaun ne’ebe sira prefere.

  3. Sei iha kustume ne’ebé metin liu ba Timor-Leste hodi hasoru nasaun seluk ne’ebé forte liu iha baze bilateral. Servisu liu hosi UNO sei prevene situasaun sira hanesan.

Ho razaun sira ne’e mak sosiedade sivil nudar Entidade ida ne’ebé iha preokupasaun bo’ot konaba posibilidade Australia lidera siguransa militar, hatuur pozisaun hanesan tuir mai ne’e :

  1. Sosiedade sivil suporta prezensa forsa ONU nian atu mai Timor Leste.

  2. Ami husi katak JTF kontinua fornese siguransa iha Timor-Leste, maibe tenke submete ba komando Misaun foun UNO nian.

  3. Ami husu atu Konselho Siguranca UNO nia hetan lalais rezulusaun ba kestaun ne’e, hodi prevene “ketidakpastian” ne’ebé otomatikamente sei afeta ba povo Timor-Leste.

  4. Husu Nasaun Unidus atu hola desizaun lalais ba prezensa misaun foun UNO tuir nesesidade povu no estadu Timor-Leste nian.

  5. Husu ba Nasaun hirak ne’ebé la aseita kestaun siguransa tama iha Misaun foun ONU hanesan Estadus Unidus da Amerika, Japaun no Inglatera atu muda pozisaun hodi suporta apelu hosi sociadade sivil no estadu Timor-Leste ba prezensa ONU iha Timor-Leste.

  6. Husu ba estadu ba Timor-Leste presiza defini lolos medidas ne’ebé klaru no firmi konaba misaun foun UNO nian iha Timor-Leste.

Mak ne’e deit ba ita boot sira nia atensaun ami hato’o obrigadu.

Dili, 22 de Augusto 2006

Ami mak hato’o

Reprezentante Sociadade Sivil:

Maria Angelina Sarmento, NGO Forum

Santina Soares, La’o Hamutuk

Deklarasaun ne'e asina husi reprezentante husi organisaun tuir mai: Perkumpulan HAK, Institutu Edukasaun Popular (eks Sah'e Institute for Liberation), Fokupers, Haburas, Permatil, JSMP, Rede Feto, Forum Tau Matan, Pradet, Laifet, Luta Hamutuk, APHEDA, ETADEP, Kdadalak Sulimutuk Institute, UNTL, Fortilos, Dai Popular, and PAS (Prontu Atu Servi).

La'o Hamutuk page on establishing UNMIT Mission in Timor-Leste