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New Zealand Defence Force in Timor - Update

New Zealand Defence Force
Te Ope Kaatua O Aotearoa
Media Release
Wednesday 12 July, 2006

New Zealand Defence Force in Timor - Update

A total of 199 NZ Army soldiers are currently serving in Timor Leste, with six support personnel based in Darwin.

After five weeks in theatre, the soldiers are working to restore the confidence of local Timorese by carrying out patrols in an Area of Operations to the east of Dili. They continue patrolling and security operations by foot and vehicle, using the NZ Army’s Pinzgauer Light Operational Vehicle.

The Senior National Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Jeremy Harker noted that the military presence appears to be providing a reassuring influence in the city. “We’re in a relative period of calm at the moment. Patterns of life are returning to normal, shops are reopening; there are more vehicles in the streets, and local children are returning to school.”

New Zealand soldiers have confiscated over 1500 weapons since they began contributing to the international relief effort in Timor Leste. The weapons range from pistols and machetes, to self-constructed shanghais and other weapons.

The 25 New Zealand Police arriving in Dili today will be met and briefed by members of the NZDF contingent, prior to commencing their duties.

ENDS

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