Subject: JP: UN-TNI Sign Border Accord

also: [SMH] Indonesian commander admits militias still active

Jakarta Post April 12, 2000

TNI regrets UN rebuff on border accord

DILI, East Timor (JP): Udayana Military Commander Maj. Gen. Kiki Syahnakri expressed on Tuesday disappointment over the United Nations' refusal to accept Indonesia's proposal for a border agreement.

"All accusations that the TNI is behind illegal incursions into East Timor or is supporting the so-called militias would not be necessary had the UNTAET (United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor) accepted our proposal for an exchange of liaison officers, joint border patrol and joint border post," Kiki told a media conference here.

The conference followed the signing of a new memorandum of understanding for tactical coordination in the border area between East Nusa Tenggara and East Timor signed by the Indonesian Military (TNI) and UNTAET Military Component.

TNI was represented by Kiki, while Lt. Gen. Jaime de los Santos, commander of the UNTAET Peace Keeping Force (PKF), represented the UNTAET Military Component.

Present at the ceremony were Jose Alexandre "Xanana" Gusmao, president of the National Council for East Timorese Resistance (CNRT), and Taur Matan Ruak, commander of the Falintil proindependence fighting forces, and UNTAET'S director of political affairs Peter Galbraith and TNI spokesman Air Rear Marshal Graito Usodo.

Galbraith said the UN believed the three-point proposal was unnecessary since the TNI had shown good cooperation.

"The problem is not with the TNI but with the militia," said Galbraith.

Galbraith on the occasion apologized for recent border violations by UN aircraft. The Udayana command had filed a protest with the UNTAET over intrusions by UN helicopters into Indonesian airspace near the border on April 4, April 6 and April 7.

Kiki said the UN helicopters flew one kilometer into Indonesian airspace in Boilalu.

Kiki also urged the UNTAET to not politicize border problems and to allow the settlement of tactical matters by the Udayana command and the PKF commander.

"I'm not denying that there are prointegration people who are still trying to prevent refugees from returning home to East Timor, but they are not doing so openly. The TNI always takes action against such activities and if the PKF had liaison officers on our side of the border they would be able to find out for themselves whether or not the TNI was involved in the clandestine activities of the so-called militias," said Kiki.

In Jakarta, Attorney General Marzuki Darusman announced that his office would install over 30 members of a joint investigation team over last year's East Timor violence next week.

The team, made up of 10 state prosecutors, 10 military police officers, 10 TNI officers and several officials from the Ministry of Home Affairs, will probe into the massacre of refugees in churches in Liquica and Suai, the attacks on proindependence leader Manuel Carrascalao's home in Dili and on the residence of Dili Bishop Carlos Felipe Ximenes Belo, and the killing of Financial Times correspondent Sander Thoenes.

Marzuki said that the team would start working by the end of this month.

The formation of the team followed recommendations by the government- sanctioned Commission of Inquiry into Human Rights Violations (KPP HAM) in East Timor, which implicated former TNI commander Gen. (ret) Wiranto and 32 other soldiers and officials in the violence. (01/lem)


Sydney Morning Herald April 12, 2000

Indonesian commander admits militias still active

Dili: Indonesia's eastern region military commander acknowledged yesterday that pro-Jakarta militia were continuing "clandestine activities", but denied his troops were training militiamen in West Timor.

On his first visit to East Timor since Indonesian forces withdrew last year, Major-General Kiki Syahnakri told senior United Nations officials and pro-independence leaders that militias continued to enjoy substantial support in West Timor.

"There are and there remains clandestine activities but I want to state here to you that the situation is far better [now] than compared to months ago," he said at the signing of a joint memorandum of understanding covering border issues.

"There is a deep-seated sentiment towards pro-integration and those deep-seated sentiments cannot disappear quickly."

Last week a West Timorese church leader and a human rights organisation claimed the Indonesian Army was training militias in West Timor for an incursion into East Timor next month.

But General Syahnakri said yesterday: "I would like to say categorically that the training of [militiamen] does not exist."

He charged the UN Peacekeeping Force in East Timor with a spate of border violations, and said Indonesia had arrested an East Timorese man for allegedly crossing on a spying mission.

"We note with concern crossings last week by [UN] aircraft. We hope with the signing of this memorandum these incidents can be avoided," he said.

The UN's chief political official in East Timor, Mr Peter Galbraith, admitted there had been two incidents involving UN helicopters inadvertently crossing into West Timor air space, but denied any ill intent.

General Syahnakri said border security would improve following the signing of the memorandum.

Since October, the Indonesian Army and police had confiscated 678 illegal firearms, detained 27 militia members and arrested and charged eight military personnel, all Timorese, General Syahnakri said.

Yesterday's agreement provides for regular meetings between UN and Indonesian commanders.

Mark Dodd and agencies

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