25 more NZ police head off to East Timor

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

25 New Zealand police officers have left today, July 11, for three months in East Timor. The force will carry pepper spray and pistols.

The police force will assist the 160 New Zealand Defence Force armed personnel that are already in East Timor as well as other country's personnel.

Grant O'Fee, contingent commander, said "attempts will be made to establish good relations with village chiefs."

The police teams will try to prosecute those who are responsible for arson and assault following the recent violence in East Timor.

The recent two weeks of violence has died down since the former Prime Minister (PM) of East Timor resigned giving his post to the former foreign and defence minister, Jose Ramos Horta. This appointment has been congratulated by the United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Kofi Annan. Horta said the main priority for his government will be "restoring security and moving 150,000 people in refugee camps back home."