Fundasaun Mahein (FM), 24 March 2015
The Joint Operation: A Bad Practice for the Security Sector
Timor-Leste recently launched the HANITA Operation, the sixth conjoint operation since independence. This practice has become a bad habit of political aggression, used in response to any incident threatening national security. The past five operations all possessed their own-mandates. This new HANITA initiative is led by the rising generation of young leaders within the security sector. The HANITA Operation presents a predicament that these young leaders must solve.
On 11th March 2015, the Council Ministry approved a resolution in response to the actions of illegal groups that took place on March 8th, 2015. These groups have been accused of involvement in organized crime, set in motion to instigate unrest in Timor-Leste. Resolution No.11/2015, issued by the Council Ministry, is designed to prevent and repress the actions of these criminal groups. The government holds the right to organize cooperative missions between the defense and security forces, according to Law No. 2/2010, National Security Law No. 3: Article 36.
On 21st March 2015, the government launched the team of defense and security forces to address the criminal groups. Fundasaun Mahein expresses its strong support for this operation as a means of strengthening law and order within this nation. This operation is the appropriate response to any provocation or aggravation of the public order. However, the operation should follow the protocol established by national security law, and performance law, as well as the fundamental rights protected by the Constitution.
Throughout this country’s history, conjoint operations have become politically aggressive in nature. This seems to signify that we are strongly investing in war rather than peace. Also neglected is the importance of the justice sector, as evidenced by the prevalence of conjoint operations in solving all matters, big and small.
As such, Timor-Leste should establish a national security policy that responds appropriately to today’s threats. This means not relying upon conjoint operations of security and defense forces to solve every situation. National security law, as it currently stands, establishes clear boundaries, which are enforced by the Integrated National Security System (NSIS).
1. Use force as necessary and in coordination with security laws
2. Obey the laws governing operations
3. Updates on Operation HANITA should be presented to the President of the Republic every week as the Supreme Commander of Army Forces
4. Reports regarding the operation should be presented to the National Parliament, outlining the security situation and finances
5. The public should be informed about the operation and the security situation by the national media
6. The public should act as facilitators of the operation and present cases of misconduct, poor discipline, and constitutional infraction to the commander of the conjoint operation and the relevant judicial authorities.
For more details on this issue, please see the following:
Executive Director of FM
Phone (+670) 78316075 or (+670) 77561184