Subject: Indonesia, ET agree on border security issues

BBC Monitoring International Reports Source: Koran Tempo web site, Jakarta, in Indonesian 19 Feb 04


Denpasar: The Indonesian National Military Forces (TNI) and the United Nations Peace Keeping Force (UNPKF) in East Timor have agreed to resolve various security problems in the border regions of Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of East Timor. The agreement came out of the 16th Intercommand Meeting in Denpasar, Bali, yesterday (18 February). Three important decisions taken at the meeting included the establishment of a traditional market in Belu District to prevent black market activity and smuggling in the border areas, agreement on international border violations and the issue of 24 thousand refugees. Udayana Military Area Commander Maj-Gen Supiadin A.S. stated that TNI and UNPKF, whose delegation was led by Lt-Gen Khairudin Mat Yosof, agreed to facilitate procedures for border crossers. "They will be given a border pass so they can officially cross the international border," he said. With such a pass, East Timorese are allowed to go shopping and visit their families in the Atambua area, East Nusa Tenggara.

Regarding rumours of infiltration by a militia group which is attacking villages and burning houses in East Timorese territory, the two parties agreed to form a joint investigation team. "Brig-General Taur Matan Ruak as commander, East Timorese Armed Forces, also agreed on this issue," said Supiadin. Taur Matan Ruak was present at the meeting in Bali yesterday.

The rumours of militia infiltration were ruled out by an official at the Office of Indonesian Interests in Dili and 161/Wirasakti Kupang Military Sub-Area Commander Col Moeswarno Moesanip. They said the allegation by East Timorese military authorities, that 100 militia members armed with M-16 rifles and led by three TNI officers had infiltrated Bobonaro District, on the border of Belu District, was completely untrue.

Moesanip said officials from the Indonesian Affairs Office in Dili had already explained to the Dili government that it was untrue that TNI was directing an armed group to cause disturbances in East Timorese territory. "The Indonesian Affairs Office has declared that the rumour is very deceptive and incorrect," he said. According to Moesanip, those accused of being infiltrators were actually Indonesian fishermen stranded in East Timorese waters. "They had no navigation equipment and were carried away by the current," he said.

) BBC Monitoring

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