Subject: Indonesia, Timor Leste To Settle Border Disputes

The Jakarta Post

October 5, 2009 Monday


KUPANG: A team from the National Survey and Charting Coordination Agency (Bakorsutanal) has arrived in Kupang for a joint survey with its Timor Leste counterpart in five disputed border areas of the two neighboring countries.

The assistant to East Nusa Tenggara provincial secretary for administration, Yoseph Mamulak, said Friday that the joint team would work until Nov. 28. The results of their joint survey, if approved by the two governments, would then help determine the new demarcation line that would conclusively define the border between the two countries in these previously contested areas.

"We do not expect the joint team to encounter difficulties in the field.

So we can put an end to the long-standing border dispute. But if the team fails to reach an agreement, the dispute will be settled through diplomacy," Mamulak said.

The dispute, which dates back in 1999 when Timor Leste voted for independence from Indonesia, concerns five border zones in the regencies of Kupang and North Timor Tengah.

Mamulak predicted a tough debate over the Naktuka-Citrana area in East Amfoang district in Kupang regency. Timor Leste has, since 1999, built a new resettlement area on about 1,019 hectares of land that was previously used as agricultural land belonging to West Timor people.

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