More News out of Dili

Jackie Chan may have just arrived, but is East Timor’s president on the way out?

East Timor’s President Jose Ramos-Horta says he is considering the top UN human rights post but is worried how his resignation would affect the country.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate suggested he would decide whether to put his name forward within 24 hours.

Mr Ramos-Horta said he feared snap elections could destabilise the fragile peace built over the past few months.


Presuming that Ramos-Horta is not replying to this ad for the position, he would make a good candidate to succeed Canadian jurist Louise Arbour, whose term expires at the end of this month. Ramos-Horta’s departure, which Paul Toohey at The Australian writes “seems almost certain,” would leave Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao, a once-revered politician whose luminosity has faded somewhat of late, to shepherd over a peaceful transition. It is obviously in the UN’s interest to prevent renewed violence in East Timor, so the General Assembly, Secretary-General, and Ramos-Horta himself should make sure that his accepting the post will not create another human rights crisis for him to deal with back at home.

Stay tuned for updates here.

(Photo from Flickr using a Creative Commons license.)