The General Commander of the National Police of Timor-Leste (PNTL), Commissioner Julio da Costa Hornai said 29 members of the Special Police Unit (UEP) are getting ready to be deployed and take part in UN missions when needed.
He said an invitation was sent from the United Nations (UN) leadership inviting the PNTL forces to take part in UN missions.
“We are preparing our UEP members, so they are ready. When we are requested, we will be ready to deploy,” he said in Bairo-Pite, Dili.
For the first round will include 29 UEP members, 2 women and 27 men, who are currently in training.
“The training focusses on fitness, weapons handling and shooting, driving and other technical skills based on UN mission needs,” he said.
The candidates underwent a training program for two months from July until August 2018 and received a certificate of completion at the end. A second round of training will take place for another two months.
“We will keep preparing them according to the needs of deployment and if there is a possibility we may be able to take part in a UN mission next year already,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Commander of UEP, Superintendent Chief Afonso dos Santos said his members are ready to participate in UN missions.
“We provide step by step training, not only for five or six months. Preparations to take part in UN missions can take two or three years,” he said.
He added, this training is supported through the government to the General Command of PNTL.
“We are also supported by the former president Ramos Horta, because the mission has links to diplomacy,” he said.
He added the UEP Command sent a letter to the government, requesting support from the Timor-Leste Police Development Program (TLPDP) and the National Republican Guard (GNR) of Portugal to provide the training.
He said in the first round 29 members passed the training and this was very important training for the UEP officers and sergeants because the topics covered were set for an international mission standard.
He added the main thing is to have good physical health because all the equipment used is modern in the UN missions. Candidates must also have good English language knowledge and understand the role of the police, especially the UEP police, in a UN mission context.