Subject: Indonesia to withdraw non-organic troops from E. Timor borders

Indonesia army to pull out non-organic troops from E. Timor borders

Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, Sept 15 (Antara) - The Indonesian army will next month withdraw all of its non-organic troops from Indonesia- East Timor border regions where they had been deployed to maintain security, a military official said here on Friday.

"As of next October, all non-regular troops posted in border areas will be pulled out from the areas," District Military Command 161/Wirasakti chief Col. Arief Rachman said.

The Wirasakti military command is part of the Udayana Military Command which covers Bali, West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara provinces. It was reported ealier all troops from Java stationed in the border areas would be pulled out early in October.

Army Chief of Staff Djoko Santoso during a function in Bandung, West Java, on Monday, said that troops coming from Java would be withdrawn because the condition in the area was considered already secure.

"We will not assign any more troops to guard the Indonesian - East Timor borders because we already have good cooperation with the neighbouring country. We will even withdraw all the troops that came from Java," he said.

The Army chief said the Udayana Military Command was already able to maintain security in the border areas with its own organic personnel.

According to Wirasakti District Military Chief Arief Rachman, the Udayana Regional Military Command`s organic troops were now able to maintain security along the borders.

He said that so far, troops deployed to maintain security in the border areas were dominated by non-organic forces.

As security conditions in the border areas were now considered conducive, the Army chief had decided to pull out the non-organic troops, Rachman said.

The army deployed troops in the border areas some time ago when an internal conflict broke out in the East Timor military which created unrest in the country. It was feared the conflict would trigger a massive flow of refugees into Indonesia.

------------------------------------------ Joyo Indonesia News Service

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