Dili, 19 November 2012 – Timor-Leste today said goodbye and thank you to police officers from Bangladesh for their role in helping secure peace and building the capacity of the country's national police.
Bangladesh was amongst the countries contributing the largest numbers of police since the United Nations Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) was set up following the 2006 crisis.
Today, Timor-Leste is a very different place. The National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) assumed policing responsibility in March 2011, and democratic presidential and parliamentary elections were held peacefully in 2012.
UNMIT Police Commissioner Luis Carrilho said, "Police from Bangladesh have played an important role building the capacity of the national police and securing peace in Timor-Leste."
Since 2006 more than 1,200 police officers from Bangladesh have contributed to stability and peace in the country.
At a parade to mark the certification of PNTL held on 31 October 2012, both the President and Prime Minister of the Republic of Timor-Leste acknowledged and congratulated UNMIT Police (UNPOL) for their work since 2006.
The President of the Republic also bestowed upon UNPOL the Order of Timor-Leste Medal in appreciation and recognition for its contribution to the country, Timorese people and security.
"It was an honour to receive this Order on behalf of all UNMIT Police and we can all be very proud of our achievements," said Carrilho.
"PNTL has made significant progress, supported by police from Bangladesh. These men and women helped us restore law and order and train Timor-Leste's police. They can return home very proud of what they have achieved. It is now our turn to help others, with several PNTL officers eligible and ready to participate in UN peacekeeping missions," added PNTL General Commander Longuinhos Monteiro.
UNMIT is expected to withdraw at the end of 2012 with approximately 1,200 international police leaving Timor-Leste.
For more information please contact:
UNMIT Media Relations Officer
Tel: +670 7731 1782