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Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1476-413X
  • E-ISSN: 1758-9509



Security sector reform (SSR) aims to create a secure environment that is conducive to development, poverty reduction, good governance, and in particular the growth of democratic states and institutions based on the rule of law. This relies on the ability of the state to mitigate its people’s vulnerabilities through development and to use a range of policy instruments to prevent or address security threats that affect society’s wellbeing. Timor-Leste is currently relatively stable compared to the 2006–08 crisis period, but it is still seen as a fragile state. In the security sector, this fragility highlights the conflictual relationship between the armed forces (FALINTIL – Forças de Defesa de Timor-Leste, F-FDTL) and the police (Polícia Nacional de Timor-Leste, PNTL) as the most significant threat to national stability. This article examines the United Nations’ efforts in Timor-Leste as an important case for the study of SSR in post-conflict countries and tries to answer the following questions: how has SSR evolved in Timor-Leste? What has the role of the military and police forces been in the country’s stabilization and reconstruction? Are they contributing to peace or are they a source of potential conflict?


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): military; police; security sector reform; Timor-Leste
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