23 Nov 2012

Australian mission to East Timor ends

5:58 am on 23 November 2012

Australia is ending its security mission in East Timor, six years after sending troops to restore stability.

The International Stabilisation Force was first deployed in March 2006. Some 460 Australian and New Zealand ISF troops currently remain in East Timor.

The BBC reports they ceased operations on Thursday and will be fully withdrawn by April 2013 after closing their bases and returning equipment.

UN peacekeepers last month formally returned full policing duties to the national force.

East Timor gained independence in 2002 after three years of UN administration, which following more than two decades of guerrilla warfare during Indonesian rule.