VIEIRA DE MELLO NAMES NEW EAST TIMOR FINANCE MINISTER
UN Transitional Administrator Sergio Vieira de Mello today named economist Maria Madelena Brites Boavida as the new Minister of Finance of East Timor’s Second Transitional Government.
Brites Boavida, previously a finance officer with the Timor Gap Joint Authority, will be sworn in on Tuesday, 30 April, after Chief Minister Marí Alkatiri returns to Dili from a UN Security Council meeting on East Timor in New York.
Vieira de Mello, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative in East Timor, selected Brites Boavida upon the recommendation of Alkatiri after Finance Minister Fernanda Borges resigned over the weekend.
Vice Minister of Finance Arlindo Rangel has been named acting Minister of Finance in the interim.
PKF CLOSES SECTOR CENTRAL HEADQUARTERS IN DILI
UNTAET’s Sector Central Headquarters in Dili was formally closed today as part of the Peacekeeping Force’s scheduled downsizing ahead of East Timor’s 20 May independence.
Peacekeeping responsibilities in Sector Central – which encompasses Dili, Liquica, Aileu, Ainaro, Manufahi, Manatuto and Ermera districts – is now the exclusive responsibility of the 980-strong Portuguese Battalion based in Becora, Dili.
Before UNTAET’s military downsizing got underway last year, Sector Central coordinated the activities of troops and military police from Portugal, Brazil, Kenya, and Mozambique.
Thirty-seven out of Sector Central’s 48 personnel will be repatriated to Portugal on 29 April. The Portuguese Battalion will absorb the remainder.
“The [Sector Central] unit has accomplished its mission and tasks with dedication and professionalism,” Colonel Manuel Correia, the Commander of Sector Central, said at the closing ceremony also attended by Dennis McNamara, the Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in East Timor.
UNTAET’s current military downsizing will reduce UNTAET’s authorised 8,000 troops to 5,000 by the middle of this year.