Subject: AN: 100s of T-L people regularly cross Indonesian borders illegally

Antara (Indonesia)

May 10, 2006 Wednesday


Atambua, E Nusa Tenggara May 10

Hundreds of Timor Leste people have reportedly crossed into Indonesia illegally during the past few years to reunite with relatives who had taken refuge in Belu District, East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) province, in 1999.

The illegal border crossers did not have immigration documents needed to enter Indonesia legally through Mota'ain, Metamasin and Metamauk gates, Zakarias Alves, East Timorese prominent figure living in NTT said here on Wednesday.

"There are many Timor Leste people entering Indonesian territory via unmapped alternative routes'. They live with their relatives who reside in border regions," Zakarias, former legislator during the integration period of East Timor into Indonesian territories, said.

He suggested the Indonesian government to conduct a census of former East Timorese refugees living in Indonesia and tighten security control in the border areas shared by Indonesia and East Timor or Timor Leste.

He is worried that if the recent influx of East Timorese into Indonesia's NTT Province was ignored, it would create a problem in the near future.

"The former refugees know who new comers are and who have been there for a long time. We must identify them, don't let any infiltrator disturb the security in Indonesia," he said.

Belu District Head Joachim Lopez said that he has instructed the security officers to tighten patrol in the border areas to prevent infiltrators.

Timor Leste's police and military were deployed to restore calm in Dili after 600 sacked soldiers and their supporters held a protest on April 28 which turned violent.

At least four people were killed and around 100 houses and a market damaged. The soldiers had deserted their barracks complaining of discrimination in February and were later sacked by the Timor Leste's Military Commander.

At least 86 Indonesian and 11 foreign residents of Timor Leste's capital city of Dili fled to West Timor in the Indonesian territory of NTT to avoid possible clashes in the world's youngest country.

Timor Leste was Indonesia's former 27th province which became independence on May 20, 2002, following a referendum in 1999.

Back to May menu
April menu     
World Leaders Contact List
Main Postings Menu