Subject: Too Many TNI Members at Timor Leste Border


Too Many TNI Members at Timor Leste Borders
Friday, 06 January, 2006 | 01:51 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:Atambua Bishop Mgr Anton Pain Ratu feels the allocation of 1,500 TNI personnel from the Army's Strategic Reserves Command (Kostrad) on the borders of Indonesia and Timor Leste is too much.

To secure the border areas, Ratu suggested that the Indonesian Military (TNI) to maximize the Military District personnel command without having to ask Kostrad's members. "Everywhere, there are the TNI posts. It will make impression that Indonesia is unsafe," Ratu stated on Thursday night (05/01).

Timor Leste, said Bishop Ratu, was not a threat for Indonesia. This country has just started to train its troops to use weapons. The number of citizens is only about 900,000 people. There are 200 million people in Indonesia. "If it's not a threat, why is the TNI concentrating on the borders?" Ratu stated.

Indonesia-East Timor Commander of Security Troops Task Unit Lt. Col. Ediwan Prabowo said that the number of TNI personnel on the border of Atambua and North Central Timor Leste has 1,500 personnel, consisting of three Kostrad battalions, two combat platoons and other technical factors.

"This number is still small. On the borders of other countries, the numbers are tens of thousands. Every two kilometers, there is a military post. However, on the border of Indonesia and Timor Leste, the security is too relaxed," Prabowo said. (Jems de Fortuna-Tempo News Room)

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