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Partial transfer of materials and equipment on the occasion of change of SDF troops in UN Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET)
- The Government of Japan decided to grant some of the materials and equipment (prefabricated houses, etc.) used by the Third Self Defense Force (SDF) Engineer Group currently under dispatch to the United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET) to the Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste. An exchange of letters to this effect took place in Dili on 22 October between Mr. Hideaki Asahi, Charge d'Affaires ad interim in Timor-Leste from Japanese side and Mr. Engr. Ovidio de Jesus Amaral, Minister of Transportation, Communications and Public Works, from the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste.
- This grant of materials and equipment used by the Third SDF Engineer Group to East Timor consists of civilian goods (such as prefabricated houses), and is based on a request from the Government of Timor-Leste. The materials and equipment will be donated as part of Japan's assistance for self-help efforts of Timor-Leste, and the Government of Timor-Leste plans to use them for economic and social development.
- The background to this transfer is the decrease in number of personnel resulting from the changeover between the Third SDF Engineer Group and the Fourth SDF Engineer Group (the change-of-command ceremony is scheduled to take place in Dili on 23 October). This reduction in personnel is part of the UNMISET's schedule of winding down troop numbers towards the end of UNMISET operations in May 2004. Their number will be reduced from 522 to 405. In addition, Japan has dispatched 7 personnel to UNMISET PKF (peacekeeping force) Headquarters.
- The United Nations Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET) was established on 20 May 2002 as the successor mission to the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) to provide assistance to nation-building in Timor-Leste. The dispatch of SDF personnel to the UN peacekeeping operations (PKO) in Timor-Leste started in February 2002.
- In addition to maintaining and repairing roads and bridges necessary to peacekeeping operations, SDF Engineer Groups have carried out civil assistance (performing duties to improve citizens' daily lives in response to requests of local residents and under the instruction of UNMISET Headquarters.) Their contribution to nation-building in Timor-Leste has received high praise from the UN and from citizens and government officials of TImor-Leste.
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