BRUSSELS, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- While threats to security are currently under control, without needed reforms Timor-Leste could destabilize, a report from the International Crisis Group says.
The Belgium-based independent non-governmental organization International Crisis Group says security authorities in Timor-Leste have been successful in keeping the country from widespread violence since President Jose Ramos-Horta was shot and seriously wounded in February 2008. Despite the current stability, Crisis Group officials say long-term security will require leaders in the country to focus on much needed reforms.
The report, titled "Timor-Leste: No Time for Complacency," says that instead of addressing underlying corruption, disaffected parties have simply been paid off. Officials say the compensation is creating social jealousy and other problems.
The report calls on leaders in Timor-Leste to seriously tackle the root causes of conflicts in the country in order to achieve permanent stability.
"There are worrying signs of disdain for the justice system and civilian control over the army," John Virgoe, Crisis Group South East Asia project director, said in a statement.
"The current calm is not cause for complacency. The government needs to reform the army and police, but they also need to tolerate dissent, be more transparent and get a grip on corruption."