Subject: JP: 'No way to Oecussi through West Timor'

The Jakarta Post May 31, 2002

'No way to Oecussi through West Timor'

KUPANG, East Nusa Tenggara: Col. Moeswarno Moesanip, chief of the Wirasakti Military District supervising security in East Nusa Tenggara, turned down East Timor's request for the province to allow overland public transportation from Dili to proceed its enclave Oecusi through Atambua for security reasons.

"I have been contacted several times, asking the local military to allow East Timorese vehicles to go to the enclave via Belu Regency. But I refused to meet the request as there will be no security guarantees from the Indonesian authorities for buses that would serve the ply," he said at his office here on Thursday.

He explained that should the request be met, the bus route from Atambua to Oecusi would be prone to attack as there were around 20,000 former pro-Jakarta militiamen living in the regency.

Deputy Governor Johanis Pake Pani concurred and said it was in line with the agreement reached during a recent meeting in Bali.

"It looks like it is impossible for the East Timorese administration to use the land route through West Timor to Oecusi for security reasons," he said.

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