Subject: AN: Indo gov't reminded not to ignore TL border security

Apr 24 23:34 GOVT REMINDED NOT TO IGNORE SECURITY IN RI-TIMOR LESTE BORDERS

Jakarta (Anatara News) - The shooting against an Indonesian soldier was a strong warning to the Indonesian government to increase its alertness by sending reinforcements to the border areas with Timor Leste, a deputy chairman of the People`s Consultative Assembly (MPR) said.

AM Fatwa, MPR deputy chairman, made the remarks here on Sunday to respond to the shooting of First Lieutenant Teddy Setyawan, commander of the military border post in Makir, Belu district, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) province, which shares the border with Bobonaro district of East Timor, in Malibaca on Thursday.

Fatwa who just arrived from a working visit to NTT accompanying the House of Representatives security and foreign affairs commission had asked the government to seriously respond to the find during the visit, especially the weakness of the Indonesian defence in the border.

"Stepping up defence in the border area is much more important than establishing a new territorial post which may create new problems or prompt a reaction from other parties," he said.

According to him, the government should erect clear and permanent border poles.

He said that according to Brig Gen Edward Aritonang, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) Police Chief, the borderline between the two countries is now mostly indicated by signs painted on tree trunks.

"These trees are easily moved or the painted signs erased," Fatwa added.

In the meantime, border task force chief Lt Col Art Yul Aviandi said in Atambua, NTT, on Friday that at about 08:45 local time, on Thursday, eight Indonesian soldiers of the artillery battalion 8 tasked with guarding the border, particularly in the area along the Malibaca river in NTT, spotted nine East Timorese border crossers during their patrol.

When the border crossers were entering Indonesian territory, they brought nothing. But 20 minutes later, they showed up carrying some jerrycans of kerosene.

At that time, when the soldiers tried to stop them, a woman among them shouted. Three of them then brandished their machetes against the soldiers, while the other two threw rocks at the soldiers.

At the same time, shots were heard coming from East Timor and hit the thigh of First Liuetnant Tedy Setyawan, he said.

Because of this incident, NTT government asked the border task force commander to meet East Timor`s Prime Minister Mari Al Katiri and some officials to come to the border area, but the request was rejected.

With this incident, Yul said the men under his command will tighten security along the border and will take firmer action against illegal border crossers.(*)

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Apr 24 23:36 TNI READY TO BRING SHOOTING CASE TO RI-TIMOR LESTE LEADERS

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Atambua, NTT (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Defence Force (TNI) would bring the case of the shooting of First Lt Teddy Setyawan to the relevant Indonesian and Timor Leste authorities, if a regional level solution could not be reached, a local military officer said.

"The shooting on Thursday (April 21) is a serious case. So if it cannot be solved at regional level, we will bring the case to the leaders of the two countries," Col. Amir Hamka Manan, commander of the Wira Sakti military command, said after witnessing a re-enactment of the incident.

He also said that if the two sides failed to solve the case fairly and transparently, the incident would probably drag the two countries into a prolong conflict which they did not wish.

According to Amir, the case must be handled transparently and fairly at regional level through the proper legal process in Timor Leste.

He said that similar incidents had occurred several years ago but no complete and transparent solution had been reached.

In such smuggling cases in the future, TNI personnel will take stern action according to the laws of the two countries, the commander said.

Amir further said that now other countries knew who had committed the violation, although the two neighboring countries had an agreement. Those who had broken regulations could be classified at stupid people who must be punished.

"We have ordered all TNI soldiers to intensify secuirty in border areas by conducting patrols and catch the smugglers. TNI will not give up because this is its main task to safeguard the Unitary System of Indonesia and to prevent smuggling," he added.

First Lieutenant Teddy Setyawan, commander of the military border post in Makir, Belu district, East Nusa Tenggara province, which shares the border with Bobonaru district of East Timor was shot in Malibaca.

"On Thursday, at about 08:45 local time, eight Indonesian soldiers of the artillery battalion 8 tasked to maintain border security particularly in the area along the Malibaca river in NTT, spotted nine East Timorese border crossers during their patrol," border task force commander Lt Col Art Yul Aviandi said here on Friday.

When the border crossers were entering Indonesian territory, they brought nothing. But 20 minutes later, they showed up carrying some jerrycans of kerosene.

At that time, when the soldiers tried to stop them, a woman among them suddenly shouted. Three of them then brandished their machetes against the soldiers, while two others threw rocks at the soldiers.

At the same time, shots were heard coming from East Timor and hit the thigh of First Lietnant Tedy Setyawan," he said.

On Thursday evening, the victim was evacuated to Kupang and according to a plan, he would be flown to Jakarta for more intensive medical treatment.

Because of this incident, East Nusa Tenggara government asked the border task force commander to meet East Timor`s Prime Minister Mari Al Katiri and some officials to come to the border area, but the request was rejected.

"We have to postpone the meeting with East Timorese officials, as our side will inspect the area along Malibaca river. Then, we will be ready for a meeting with them (East Timorese officials)," Yull Malibaca said.

With this incident, Yul said the men under his command will tighten security along the border and will take firmer action against illegal border crossers.(*)


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