Rebel troops in East Timor have handed over a small number of weapons to foreign peacekeepers.
More than a dozen weapons were handed over
Alfredo Reinado, the rebels' leader, said he was complying with a request to disarm from President Xanana Gusmao, to whom he has pledged loyalty.
But the rebels remain firmly opposed to Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri, who sacked 600 soldiers in March.
Gun battles between loyal troops and rebel soldiers sparked recent unrest that has plagued the capital, Dili.
At least 21 people have died in the violence and another 130,000 are thought to have fled their homes in fear.
More than 2,200 foreign peacekeepers are now patrolling the city's streets in an attempt to keep order.
Major Reinado handed his own M-16 rifle to Australian troops, then oversaw the giving in of more than a dozen other weapons.
"Everybody has to cooperate. This is only another mechanism to reach the objective. The objective is peace and justice," he told reporters.
But it remains unclear how many weapons, and of what type, the rebel forces have.
"Every weapon we have been issued, we will hand over," Major Reinado told reporters from his mountain hideout.
Brigadier Mick Slater, the commander of the Australian-led forces charged with restoring order to East Timor, said he was hopeful about the outcome.
"I don't for a minute fool myself into thinking that we'll see all of the weapons handed in today. I think this will be a gradual process over a number of days," he told Australian media.
International peacekeepers are keeping order in East Timor
But he also acknowledged that many weapons were likely to remain hidden in the hills surrounding Dili "for many, many years to come".
Mr Slater said the rebels would receive protection in return for handing over their weapons, and were expected to stay in their compounds in the towns of Maubisse and Gleno.
"Provided they stay in these areas, they will receive the full protection of the international force to make sure that no one is aggressive toward them," Mr Slater told reporters.
"This will enable them to confidently enter into negotiations with the president and other members of the government."