Saturday, May 13, 2006

East Timor says it does not need international peacekeepers

Fri May 12, 11:50 AM ET

DILI (AFP) - East Timor's foreign minister Jose Ramos-Horta said his country does not need foreign peacekeepers, shortly after Australia said it had sent two warships close to Timorese waters.
The East Timorese capital Dili was rocked by a riot on April 28 sparked by the sacking of 600 soldiers. At least five people were killed and thousands fled the city in fear of further violence.
Australian Prime Minister John Howard said Friday that two warships were being deployed to northern Australian waters in case East Timor requested international troops to quell any upheaval.
"East Timor does not need a peacekeeping force, because there is no war in East Timor," Ramos-Horta told a press conference outside Dili's police training centre.
However Ramos-Horta said that additional international police advisors would be helpful in the tiny nation, which only gained independence in 2002 and is due to hold general elections next year.
"We need an international police to create stability," he said.

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