Since gaining independence in 2002, East Timor has been plagued by instability. This is despite the presence of the United Nations and a contingency of international peacekeepers helping to rebuild the nation's police force and military.

East Timor’s police force was established by the UN nine years ago but some security analysts have described the force as unreformed and institutionally weak. Critics of the police say they are struggling to deal with political interference and are working too closely with the army.

But the East Timorese government has recently declared that it was time for foreign forces to leave the country.

On this edition of 101 East, we ask if the East Timorese security forces are ready to protect their own people.

This 101 East episode airs from Thursday, February 24, 2011 at the following times GMT: Thursday: 2230; Friday: 0930; Saturday: 0330; Sunday: 1630.

Source: Al Jazeera