Subject: TNI Deployed to E. Timor Border in Anticipation of "Territorial Claims"

BBC Worldwide Monitoring Service April 5, 2005 Source: Kupang Pos web site, Kupang, in Indonesian 2 Apr 05

Indonesian troops deployed in anticipation of "territorial claims"

Excerpt from report by Indonesian newspaper Kupang Pos web site on 2 April

Soe: Two battalions from TNI's [Indonesian National Military Forces] Korem [Military Provincial Command] 161 Wirasakti-Kupang have been deployed to the Indonesia-East Timor border at Mota'ain and Oecussi, where TNI has also constructed new border posts. Commander Korem 161 [Danrem] Col (Infantry) Amir Hamka Manan briefed journalists on these developments at Soe on Wednesday (30 March). The colonel added that troops had also been deployed to Batek Island, on the border with East Timor, and to the Ashmore Reef, on the border with Australia.

The objective of these deployments was to anticipate at the earliest any territorial claims in the areas, as Malaysia had carried out at Ambalat and the Sipadan and Ligitan islands. "The navy [TNI-AL] has already staged a presence near Batek Island and Ashmore Reef to secure the areas. This includes the deployment of frogmen. At the moment the security situation there is conducive and there is no conflict," said the Danrem. He added that TNI had built a lighthouse for surveillance of the areas.

To date, border transgressions have been of an economic nature only, according to the Danrem. Those instances consisted of fuel smuggling into East Timor and the illegal importation of sugar into NTT [East Nusa Tenggara]. "The illegal traders are national traitors," the colonel asserted. Danrem 161 was unwilling to name exactly who was committing these economic crimes. Rather, he challenged journalists to find out the identities of the criminals.


April 07, 2005

Air Force personnel stationed in Kupang

KUPANG, East Nusa Tenggara: The Air Force has stationed 175 personnel, along with radar and surveillance equipment, in a subdistrict in Kupang regency to monitor the country's airspace.

The personnel, from the Air Force's special unit, will monitor the country's airspace along the borders between Indonesia, East Timor and Australia, said First Marshall Lalu Amdaniq during an official ceremony in Kupang.

The country has become more sensitive about protecting its borders since Indonesia and Malaysia deployed warships and jet fighters to the area around the disputed Ambalat offshore oil block.-- JP

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