The UN Security Council extended on Thursday the mandate of the UN Integrated Mission in Timor-Leste (UNMIT) for one more year.
Under to a resolution adopted unanimously by the council members, the Council decided to extend the UN mission in the impoverished country until Feb. 26, 2008.
Meanwhile, it approved a temporary reinforcement of the Mission's police by an additional unit of up to 140 officers to supplement existing law enforcement capacity, particularly during the pre- and post-electoral period.
The Council reiterated its view that "the forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections will be a significant step in the process of strengthening democracy in Timor-Leste."
It called on all parties in Timor-Leste to adhere to the principles of non-violence and to democratic and legal processes to ensure that the upcoming elections have a unifying impact and contribute to bringing the people of Timor-Leste together.
It also encouraged all Timorese parties to ensure that free, fair and peaceful elections take place and that the timetable for polls developed by the National Commission on Elections is respected.
The Security Council created UNMIT in August 2006 to help restore order after fighting, attributed to differences between eastern and western regions, broke out in April and May of that year and led to the deaths of at least 37 people and forced about 155,000 people -- or 15 percent of the population -- to flee their homes.