Fundasaun Mahein, June 26th 2014
Friendship Operation: Re-integration or Threat?
At the beginning of 2014 the government of Timor-Leste issued a resolution of the National Parliament No. 05/03/2014 called “Operation 66” that authorized the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL) to act against the group Maubere Revolution Council (KRM) and the Popular Council Defense of the Republic Democratic of Timor-Leste (CPD-RDTL). This resolution of the Council Minister No. 08/2014, that authorized the FALINTIL-Defense Force of Timor-Leste (F-FDTL) to support PNTL in the “Friendship Operation”.
Through the resolution of the Council Minister, the government established the Conjoint Operation Command (COC) as a continuation of the “Operation 66”. During the operation there was conflict between the KRM, CPD-RDTL and PNTL, the result of which was the traumatisation of communities and the escape of some members of KRM and CPD-RDTL Mt. Matebian. Therefore, the government established a “Friendship operation” with the purpose of restoring security for the communities after “Operation 66”.
According to FM’s monitoring we have identified that during the “Friendship Operation”, three COC established 1 post in sub-district of Laga, Lalulai village, 2 posts in Baguia sub-district, Osso-Huna village and Samalari, and 1 post in Quelicai sub-district, Lakuliu village where the Central Post Operation Tactics, in charge of making strategy plans and co-ordinating logistic assistance and administration, was located.
This report concludes that these two resolutions issued by the National Parliament and the Council Minister and the resulting “operation 66” and “Friendship Operation” were not successful and has appeared to make the security situation worse than before. The communities have felt more under pressure with the COC’s presence as well as some rifles have not been re-collected yet and are missing. This information however is only rumors and no credible data from the intelligence side. Ironically it is the innocent people that have become victims of the operation and such operation is out of the resolutions order.
Re-integrated members of KRM and CPD-RDTL are unable to re-integrate with the communities who are suspicious of KRM and CPD-RDTL threat to society. Therefore to re-integrate the community should not be using the army or police but through dialogue and peaceful means instead. This needs an integrated approach by the government for the complicated problems whether social, economic or problems from veterans.
Finally, the contents of the resolution is considered a threat to national stability and the state’s sovereignty and the operation itself considered a political trick which in the past has been an issue with the leaders of this nation. Therefore, FM considers that the resolution is political stunt and the establishment COC through the “Friendship Operation” is like a political threat and not the political threat.
1. Recommend to the President of the Republic, as a symbol of the National Unity, to organize a dialogue with communities, particularly victims and people who have been involved in KRM and CPD-RDTL groups. Coordinate with the government to re-integrate the communities in a peaceful and integrated manner.
2. Recommends to the National Parliament calls the Ministry of Defense and Security to clarify to the public what the result of the COC’s operation process against groups of KRM and CPD-RDTL.
3. Recommends to the government to pay attention to veteran’s case and resolve some existing problems regarding the state’s recognizing the participation of people during the struggle period fairly.
To know more details on this issue please see the following:
FM Executive Director
Phone (+670) 7737-4222 or (+670) 77561184