Subject: JP: Troops deployed to Timor border

Troops deployed to Timor border

March 30, 2007

KUPANG, East Nusa Tenggara: The Indonesian Military (TNI) has deployed 1,000 soldiers along the border between Indonesia and Timor Leste to prevent possible unrest inside Indonesian territory before and after the presidential election in the neighboring country on April 9.

The commander of the Indonesian Border Security Unit, Lt. Col. J. Hotma Hutahaen, said via cell phone Thursday that TNI troops had been entrusted with securing state territory and preventing rebels from entering the country through West Timor, East Nusa Tenggara.

"Chaos is escalating in Dili ahead of the election, but has not yet had any serious impact along the border of both countries," said Hutahaen.

He said border troops had been tolerant toward sick residents crossing over despite the closure of the border.

"President Xanana has officially sent a letter to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono requesting him to open the border point to expedite supplies for the needs of Timor Leste people, but the TNI headquarters has yet to order all four entry points open," he said.

The government will likely open the border points after the election. -- JP

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