SRSG Hasegawa calls for National Campaign for Disarmament
18 September 2006, Dili – At a Security Task Force meeting held on Friday 15 September, Sukehiro Hasegawa, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Timor-Leste, discussed with Brigadier-General Mick Slater, UN Police Commissioner Antero Lopes and other police contingent commanders the need for stepping up the campaign to collect weapons that remain in the hands of civilians.
General Slater reported: "More than 1700 firearms have already been collected and the weapons collection is proceeding. Thousands of traditional weapons have also been collected and destroyed. F-FDTL weapons are safely secured by F-FDTL and the majority of PNTL weapons have been accounted for by the international forces."
"The assistance of the Timorese people will be essential in indicating the location of illegal weapons and identify those persons who are in the possession of such weapons," SRSG Hasegawa said. The Security Task Force agreed to step up the weapons collection campaign by working closely with existing local community structures.
Any person who can name the whereabouts and persons in possession of illegal weapons is requested to report to the Joint Operations Center (JOC) under the following hotline number 723 0365.
Increasing security concerns were also expressed by a number of political party representatives who participated in a meeting on modalities of the electoral process, which was convened by SRSG Hasegawa earlier in the day. Political party representatives emphasized the need for the United Nations and the international security forces to establish and maintain a secure environment in the period leading up to, during and immediately following the 2007 elections, in order to guarantee a free, fair and credible electoral process.
"I urge that regulatory measures for the full control of weapons in the possession of civilians are being established, for the safety and security of the Timorese people," Hasegawa concluded.
For additional information, please contact:
Donna Cusumano, Chief, Public Information Office, UNMIT; +670 723 0749, extension 5314