Subject: JP: Indonesian military chief wants border body

Jakarta Post

Military chief wants border body

17 November 2006

KUPANG, East Nusa Tenggara: The head of the Udayana Military Command, which is responsible for Bali and West and East Nusa Tenggara, on Thursday urged Indonesia and Timor Leste to form a joint border committee.

After touring areas on the Indonesian side of the border with Timor Leste, Maj. Gen. Syaiful Rizal said a joint body was necessary to help resolve border disputes, particularly in five areas that have proven to be prone to conflict.

Rizal said there had been conflicts between residents in Oecusi, Timor Leste, and Belu and Kupang regencies, Indonesia.

To stop these conflicts and prevent them from becoming full-blown clashes, he said security personnel from the two countries were temporarily conducting joint patrols.

"Indonesian border personnel and border patrol units from Timor Leste have taken the initiative to clear the conflict-prone areas of all activities. This is a joint policy from both countries," he said.

Speaking separately, Timor Tengah Utara Regent Gabriel Manek said there had been clashes between residents of the regency and residents of Oecusi, Timor Leste, over farmland.

"In order to prevent bigger conflicts, the two countries have agreed to ban all activity on the disputed land," Gabriel said.

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