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Timor-Leste police take responsibilities

DILI, Timor-Leste, March 30 (UPI) -- The United Nations has begun transitioning responsibility to Timor-Leste police as stability is restored following a wave of violence in the country.

The United Nations operation in Timor-Leste, called UNMIT, has been working to establish stability and train police authorities in the country after an outbreak in fighting between eastern and western regions in April 2006 forced approximately 155,000 people from their homes, the United Nations reported.

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Atul Khare, head of UNMIT, announced that the United Nations was handing responsibility of the Timor-Leste districts of Lautem and Manatuto over to the National Police of Timor-Leste.

The shift in responsibility is considered a milestone for stability in Timor-Leste as the country continues to recover from the fighting in 2006.

"Timor-Leste has taken major steps in the past 12 months toward restoring stability," Khare said in a statement.

The National Police of Timor-Leste "beginning to resume full responsibility for policing is a further step in the efforts to ensure that this stability is sustainable over the long term."

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