Foreign police due in East Timor next month

via Reuters

DILI, East Timor, May 10 (Reuters) - An international contingent of civilian police is expected to arrive in troubled East Timor next month to oversee a vote on independence in August, a senior United Nations official said on Monday.

``As early as possible the international police will come in East Timor, in the first week of June,'' Om Rathor, U.N. chief adviser on security affairs, told Reuters.

Rathor arrived in the former Portuguese colony on Saturday to prepare for the deployment of the police. Indonesia has accepted their presence ahead of the August 8 ballot, but only as advisers.

``The details of the planning have not been done yet, we have just started,'' said Rathor, who is scheduled to stay in Dili until May 15 to prepare for the arrival of the police.

He put their number at between 250 and 270 and added that he hoped an additional nine countries would participate in the planned deployment, bringing the total number involved to 15.

``But it is yet to be approved,'' Rathor said when asked which countries would be involved.


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