Images: Kiwis in East Timor UN Downsizing Ceremony
23 November 2001
For Immediate Release
OH 01-0716-18 – UN PKF Force Commander Lt Gen Winai Phattiyakul hands back the UN Flag that he received from the departing Kenyan Company to the UN SRSG Mr Sergio Vieira de Mello, outside the UNTAET HQ in Dili. – Photo LAC Tim Jordan, NZDF
“Tuesday 20 November 2001 represents a significant occasion in the history of the United Nations Peace Keeping Force (PKF) in East Timor,” said PKF Force Commander Lieutenant General (Lt Gen) Winai Phattiyakul. He was speaking at a ceremony to farewell the Kenyan contingent, and recognise their contribution to keeping the peace in the Ermera District of East Timor.
“You are the first group of peacekeepers to return home as part of the PKF downsizing process,” he said. “By April next year the PKF will have said farewell to a number of contributing member nations, including the Philippines, Jordan, part of the Pakistan communications contingent, Egypt and Singapore. This will see the size of the PKF reduce from its current size of 8000, down to 5000. But today is your day.”
Lt Gen Winai Phattiyakul said “Even though the PKF is downsizing, we will continue to work in conjunction with other UNTAET (United Nation Transitional Administration in East Timor) organisations to ensure the ongoing security of East Timor as you move towards Presidential Elections and Independence.”
OH 01-0715-94 – Sgt Watts of Christchurch (foreground) and Pte Floyd of Tauranga(both from Burnham Camp) ‘Present Arms’ during the Kenyan Company farewell parade in Dili. – Photo LAC Tim Jordan, NZDF
New Zealand Battalion soldiers took time out from their regular routine in Suai yesterday, to fly to Dili were they joined nine other nations on parade outside the headquarters of the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor. The parade included a ceremonial ‘handing back’ of the UN flag to the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General, Mr Sergio Vieira de Mello, to signify Kenya’s completion of duty with the UN in East Timor. The parade finished with a march past by the Kenyan Company.