East Timor Security Reform Stalls


Categorie: David Axe, East Timor, Police |



East Timor, adjacent to Indonesia, is one of the world’s youngest countries and still suffers the birth pangs of its independence. Riots in 2006 claimed scores of lives, and a festering rebellion resulted in assassination attempts on the new country’s senior leaders. Australia, New Zealand and Portugal maintain military peacekeepers and police in the capital, but would prefer to hand over security to native forces.

But that handover is still years away, as the country’s so-called “Security Sector Reform” has slowed, if not entirely stalled. Sectarian divides in the police force occasionally manifests in violence, pictured. “Some police, meanwhile, are involved in smuggling and extortion, and double up as members of the country’s martial arts gangs and clandestine societies,” World Politics Review reports. “Participants in the 2006 violence are mostly still employed on the force, without any accountability for their actions.”

(Photo: via David Axe)

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