Subject: AN: Kostrad to pull out troops from E. Timor border in Oct.

Kostrad to pull out troops from E. Timor border in Oct.

September 21, 2006

Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara (ANTARA News) - The Army`s Strategic Reserves Command (Kostrad) will pull out its land artillery battalion (Yon Armed) from the border areas between Indonesia and East Timor in October, a military commander said here on Thursday.

Wirasakti Sub-Regional Military Command chief Col. Arief Rachman said the Kostrad`s Yon Armed troops were not organic of the Udhayana Regional Military Command but until now they were still deployed in the border areas.

Army Chief of Staff Djoko Santoso said recently in Bandung, West Java, the Army would withdraw all of its troops from Indonesia-East Timorese borders, particularly non-organic forces, because the condition in the area was considered already secured.

The Kostrad`s Yon Armed battalion is being headquartered in Kefamenanu, capital town of North East Timor district, and was deployed to maintain security in the border area, Col. Rachman said.

"As of next October, all non-regular troops posted in border areas will be pulled out from the areas," 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.

He said that all non organic troops would be pulled out from the border areas because the Udayana Regional Military Command was now able to maintain security in the border areas.

"The troops from the Udayana military command are now able and effective to maintain security in the borders," Rachman added.

He said the Wirasakti Sub-Regional Command 161 alone had two combat battalions with undoubted achievements cracking down on enemie, namely Infantry Battalion 743 and Infantry Battalion 744.

The army deployed troops in the border areas some time ago when an internal conflict broke out in the East Timor`s military which created unrest in the country. It was feared the conflict would triggered massive refugees crossing into Indonesia. (*)


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