Subject: AN: Ramos Horta Concerned about Militia in W Timor


August 18, 2004 11:07pm Antara

Kupang, Aug 18 (ANTARA) - East Timorese Foreign Minister Jose Ramos Horta said he was concerned about former East Timorese militia groups living in Indonesia's East Nusa Tenggara province because they were a potential source of troubles to his county.

Horta expressed his concern during a courtesy call on Kupang military commander Col. M. Moesanip as part of his program in Easst Nusatenggara's provincial capital of Kupang on Wednesday.

On the occassion, Col, Moesanip said the Indonesian military would never let any group use East Nusatenggara as a base to launch an attack on or disturb security in East Timor.

Moesanip admitted a few former East Timorese militia groups were living in East Nusstenggara but their number and militancy had diminished significantly.

Horta understood the views and explanations given by Moesanip who also urged his guest not to be over-reactive in responding to problems happening on the border between the two countries.

Moesanip also called on Ramos not to politicize every problem happening in border areas by accusing the Indonesian military as being the provocateurs, as doing so could trigger more tension in the relations between the two countries.

Praise for Indon military

Horta who had previously always tended to have a biased perception of the Indonesian military (TNI) praised TNI for the latter's success in facilitating the return of East Timorese refuguees to their homeland from East Nusatenggara.

In this context, Moesanip also asked the East Timorese governemnt not to impose too tight conditions on ex-East Timorese refugees who wished to return to their homeland.

At present there are 25,000 ex East Timorese families who decided to live in Indonesia. 6,000 of them are families of the Indonesian military and civil servants in the circle of the army.

Moesanip could actually understand Ramos' fear that there are some hardline East Timoreses in West Timor, but their number and militancy have diminished.

"I again assured Ramos that TNI will never give any room for whatever group to make West Timor as their basis to intensify their struggle or to disturb security stability of East Timor. We will crush them, if Ramos' fear could really be proved," he cited.

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