Subject: KMP: Indonesian army says it will not withdraw from E Timor border region

Indonesian army says it will not withdraw from East Timor border region

Source: Kompas Cyber Media web site, Jakarta, in Indonesian 14 May 04

May 14, 2004 5:41am Asia Intelligence Wire

site (www.kompas.com) on 14 May

Kompas, Kupang: The Indonesian National Army [Indonesian National Military Forces -TNI] will not leave or withdraw its troops from the West Timor region, especially in the area of the border with East Timor. TNI's task of guarding the sovereignty and integrity, or the safety of the people and the state, in this region cannot be handed over to the police.

The commander of Kodam IX/Udayana, Maj-Gen TNI Supiadin A.S., gave this statement when responding to the United Nations Security Coordination Team (UNSECOORD) in Kupang, Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT), Thursday (13 May). The team of ten people visited West Timor for four days, ending on 16 May 2004.

The meeting with Supiadin A.S. was held in the VIP room of the El Tari airport, at 12.00 [local time]. The UNSECOORD team wanted to re-evaluate the Alert V status declared by the UN in West Timor, NTT, which relates to the murder of several staff of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Atambua 6 September 2000.

After meeting the commander of Kodam Udayana, the team also held confidential meetings separately with Governor Piet A. Tallo, the chief of NTT Police, Brig-Gen Edwards Aritonang, and the commander of Military Resort 161/Wirasakti Kupang, Col M. Moesanip. Each time after meeting with the officials, the team refused to answer journalists' questions.

UNSECOORD spokesperson, Annette Leijenaar, when meeting with the Kodam Udayana Commander, said that the UN had extended the period of UN peacekeeping forces duties in East Timor, and the UN mission in support of East Timor (UNMISET). She asked about Indonesia's stance, in particular TNI's, on this matter.

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Source: Riau Pos web site, Pekanbaru, in Indonesian 14 May 04

Indonesian navy base reports planes illegally crossing into airspace

May 14, 2004 7:12am Asia Intelligence Wire

Jakarta: The issue of foreign aircraft illegally entering Indonesian air space has come up again. In a working meeting yesterday [13 May] between Commission I of the DPR [People's Representative Council] and the Department of Defence and Security (Dephankam), it was revealed that foreign aircrafts frequently crossed into Indonesian territory, especially around Nusa Tenggara Timur [NTT] [Eastern Lesser Sundas].

This fact was revealed when a member of Commission I from the TNI [Indonesian National Military Forces]/Police Faction, Bambang Widjajanto, asked to present a report from the TNI-Navy (Lanal) base in Kupang. "For the last two months, every night no less than nine flights cross into NTT territory," he said.

According to Widjajanto, the report from the commander of the Kupang navy base also said that the planes crossing Indonesian territory were coming from the south ([publication editorial insertion] East Timor or Australia). "Our forces in the field are also certain that the planes entering Indonesian territory were unmanned," he explained.

Unfortunately, said Widjajanto, TNI Navy security forces personnel were not able to definitely identify the planes illegally entering Indonesian airspace.

Responding to the DPR report, the secretary-general of defence, Suprihadi, explained that his department was not yet convinced that the flights reported by the Kupang navy base were foreign flights crossing without permission. This was because the Kupang navy base could not provide proof of the identity of the foreign planes that were crossing up to nine times a night.

"The report is only based on visual reports. There is insufficient proof to suspect that they are foreign flights, let alone to connect them with espionage activities," he said.

So what was the TNI Navy Headquarters response to the report revealed by a DPR member? The head of the TNI Navy Information Service, Rear Admiral Adiyaman Saputra, explained that to date he had not received any report about illegal flights as revealed by Widjajanto. "I have never received a report like that," he said.

Nevertheless, Adiyaman acknowledged that the Kupang navy base was one of the Indonesian military installations that directly bordered East Timor and Australia. However the issue of a report stating that there were foreign flights over Indonesian territory was not within the jurisdiction of the TNI Navy because it was under the jurisdiction of the TNI Airforce. "They are the ones who have access to monitor Indonesian airspace with their defence radar," he explained. [passage omitted]

Is it true that Indonesia's defence radar system is weak? Responding to this view, Suprihadi explained that Indonesia's defence system in its eastern territory is weak. In fact, according to Defence Department documents, Indonesia's defence radars only cover the western and central parts of Indonesia's territory.

Meanwhile the eastern part of Indonesia is not fully monitored by radar. The only radar in the eastern regions is in Kupang, whereas the other areas do not have any.

In the Department Defence documents it also stated that the total number of Indonesian defence radars was only 16. The majority of these sophisticated instruments were distributed in the western and central parts of Indonesia. [passage omitted]

So what is the government going to do to overcome this problem? According to Suprihadi, the government is currently planning to import eight new radars that will be installed in eastern Indonesia. The radars will be placed in strategic locations.

The eight air defence radars will be placed in Biak, Saumlaki, Merauke, Sorong, Morotai, Ambon, Timika and Jayapura. It is estimated that it will cost the government around 240m US dollars or approximately 2.04 quintillion rupiah to import the eight radars.

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