26 November 2007 – The United Nations Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) today announced that its police officers, working alongside their Timorese counterparts with support from the International Security Forces (ISF) have completed a successful weapons recovery operation in a troubled district in the capital city.
The Dili district of Bairro Pite is often the scen of fighting between gangs. Police and army officers have recently seen weapons being used during fights, according to UNMIT.
“Operation Weapons Sweep” began on Wednesday and concluded on Saturday after recovering an assortment of weapons ranging from bows, arrows, machetes, sling shots, knives, spears and homemade guns.
Community officials also participated in the Operation by assisting police in searching homes based on the written authorization of their owners, UNMIT said.
“Involving community officials in police work is essential for reducing the incidence of gang violence on Dili streets,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative for Timor-Leste, Atul Khare.
“It sends a strong message to those indulging in the violence that it will not be tolerated by the community itself, or by law enforcement authorities, and collectively we will move to confiscate the weapons needed to execute violence,” he said.