Subject: Indonesia to station Marines on outlying islands

Supplied by BBC Worldwide Monitoring

March 2, 2006 Thursday

Indonesia to station Marines on outlying islands

Text of report by Fanny, published in English by Indonesian newspaper Tempo website on 2 March

Jakarta: Marines from the Indonesian navy will occupy the six outer islands which immediately border on other countries, by the middle of this month.

"This is the beginning. Next we will occupy the remaining six outer islands," Maj-Gen Safzen Noerdin, the commander of Marine Corps, today told reporters at the Marine Command Headquarters in Jakarta.

The six outer islands which will be occupied by the navy during the first stage are Rondo island, which borders on India, Berhala island, which borders on Malaysia, Sekatung island, which borders on Vietnam, Dana island, which borders on Australia, Batek island, which borders on Timor Leste, and Marore Island, which borders on the Philippines.

According to Safzen, the concentration of the navy personnel placement is on islands which directly border on other countries.

The marines who are placed on each of these islands amount to about 20 personnel, less than a platoon.

The aim of the placement of the Marines on the outer islands is to maintain the territories of the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia so that they are not controlled by foreign parties.

"The aim is that no Indonesian territory is taken over by anybody," said Safzen.

Source: Tempo website, Jakarta, in English 2 Mar 06

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