Subject: AN: Indonesia reopens border for Indonesians entering E Timor

July 13 2006

Indonesia reopens border for Indonesians entering E Timor

Atambua, East Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian Military (TNI) has reopen border check points to allow Indonesians entering East Timor as the tiny country`s security situation has returned to normal.

"We have fully reopened the land border. Indonesians are allowed to go to East Timor and so East Timor people can enter Indonesia as long as they have necessary legal document," Major Infantry Aziz Mahmudi, spokesman of the East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) East Timor border patrol said here on Thursday.

Indonesia had closed its border with East Timor in NTT Province on May 26, 2006, following the outbreak of clashes between military personnel and sacked military members in East Timor last May.

The Indonesian government had reopened two gates of the border it shares with East Timor as a follow up of the meeting between President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and President Xanana Gusmao in Denpasar, Bali, last June.

President Yudhoyono after holding talks with Xanana on June 17 announced that the Indonesian government would reopen its border with East Timor on a selective basis.

The border at that time had been opened only for Indonesians returning from East Timor, and foreigners having visas from the Indonesian embassy in Dili. The border had been closed for Indonesians planning to go to East Timor, while East Timor`s citizens had been totally banned from entering Indonesia.

The border posts were jointly set up by the TNI, police, the immigration office, customs and excise office and the regional government.

The TNI has 59 security posts in the border line shared with the half-island country, but only 23 of them are built permanently, the other 10 are built semi-permanently and the 26 others are only emergency ones.

The Indonesian Air Force had evacuated at least 1,400 Indonesians citizens from Dili following the chaos in the newly established country. While, over 35 others had returned home from East Timor through the border line in NTT. (*)

Uploaded on Jul 13 16:33

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