Subject: UPI Intel Watch: Indon Navy Expands East

Also: No extra troops for border: TNI

United Press International January 10, 2006

Intelligence Watch

Indonesian Navy Expands East

By John C.K. Daly UPI International Correspondent

WASHINGTON, January 10 (UPI) -- While the straits of Malacca remains of prime concern for its littoral states due to the 60,000 vessels that transit the passage annually, the Indonesian navy is expanding its operations to include the country's East Nusa Tenggara Timur province, several miles from Bali. East Nusa Tenggara Timur province shares a land frontier with Timor Leste.

In December the Indonesian Navy opened the Kupang (Lantamal) 9th Naval Main Base in East Nusa Tenggara Timur. The new facility is part of a broader force build-up in Indonesia's eastern region. Kupang is the existing regular Lanal naval base, close to major maritime transit routes bordering Australia and Timor-Leste. The new base is intended to provide logistical support to Indonesian naval in the waters around West Timor. The area is also rich in natural resources that require protection.

Neighboring Timor-Leste is developing the $6 billion offshore Greater Sunrise natural gas field development, but is disputing the terms of the May 2002 Timor Sea Treaty it signed with Australia, seeking a new boundary that would greatly increase its revenue stream from the development project.

Antara news agency reported that Navy spokesman Commodore Abdul Malik Yusuf said that Jakarta has sent KRI Wiratno-879 and KRI Warakas-816 warships to the region for a yearlong deployment in the province's territorial waters.

Yusuf commented, "In connection with it, the navy has sent two warships and plans to send another one as well as a Nomad aircraft. The combat forces would be put under the control of the 9th Naval Main Base in Kupang. The deployment of the two ships is aimed at anticipating possible territorial violations by foreign parties in the region."

Kupang Commodore Syahrin Abdurrahman added, "The navy will soon send a Nomad aircraft to support the operation and another warship. The Nomad will be used to monitor the area from the air to help smooth the operation."


January 13, 2006

No extra troops for border: TNI

Yuli Tri Suwarni, The Jakarta Post, Bandung

Indonesia will not deploy additional troops to the border with its former province Timor Leste in response to last week's fatal shooting of three Timorese Indonesians, an official said on Thursday.

The Indonesian Military (TNI)'s chief of general affairs, Lt. Gen. Endang Suwarya, said the troops already stationed along the border could handle the situation.

Endang was speaking after installing Rear Marshal M. Basri Sidehabi as the new commander of the TNI Staff and Command School in Bandung, replacing Vice Adm. Sumardjono.

He also said a joint investigation on the shooting should be launched by the governments of Indonesia and Timor Leste, to determine exactly what happened and reduce tensions between the neighbors.

The three victims, identified as Stanislao Maubere, Jose Maria Freitas and Candido Mali, were former members of the pro-Jakarta Red and White Iron militia. They took Indonesian citizenship after Timor Leste voted for independence from Jakarta in 1999.

According to the Indonesian version of the shooting, the three men were fishing in a river near the border when they unwittingly crossed into Timor Leste territory.

The killings sparked protests on Monday in Atambua. About 1,500 former members of pro-Jakarta militias burned an effigy of Timor Leste President Xanana Gusmao.

The incident also raised tensions between the neighbors, with Jakarta accusing the Timor Leste police of using excessive force.

Endang said there were 57 posts along the Indonesia-Timor Leste border, manned by hundreds Indonesian soldiers.

"The number of soldiers stationed along the border is adequate. There is no need to increase the troop deployment," he said.

Meanwhile, Timor Leste Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri said on Wednesday the police had acted in self-defense when they shot and killed the three former militiamen near the border.

He also criticized Indonesia for failing to prevent the militiamen from infiltrating Timor Leste territory.

"Our policemen were ambushed by these three individuals, who entered our country without documents, visas or passports," Alkatiri said as quoted by AFP.

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