09 November 2009

Indonesia - Timor-Leste under Borderline Dispute

TNI troops assigned to the field would obey the agreement on temporary borderline.

Nov 7 (VIVAnews) - The Indonesian Military (TNI) has increased security in the area disputed by the Timor Leste Democratic Republic and Indonesia until the quarrel is settled to some extent.

As reported by dephan.go.id, TNI Udayana Military Commander Major Gen. Hotmangaradja Pandjaitan issued the statement in Mataram on Thursday, November 5 while announcing the latest updates of the Indonesia-Timor Leste borderland which is being guarded by Udayana /Kodam IX troops.

Every conflicted area is prone to security issues, that's why the security parameter was increased," Pandjaitan said after leading the handover ceremony of Danrem 162 / Wira Bhakti from Colonel Inf. Purwoko Bhakti to Colonel Inf Robby Win Kadir.

Pandjaitan said the TNI troops assigned to the field would obey the agreement on temporary borderline set by the two countries.

Should any problem occurs, the issue must be reported to the high officials to be responded on while waiting for the settlement of the dispute.

The issue has been discussed on the high level and kept being worked on to seek the solution on inter-country level. But so far, the situation is under control," Pandjaitan said.

He also acknowledged that there are several segments in the frontier areas which are still being disputed. They are the 1.009 hectare-wide Noel Besi/Citrana borderland between Kupang regency and Oecuse District.

On the spot, Timor Leste places 21 householders and claims the area as its territory while the residents of Oepoli village, Kupang regency claim the area as belonging to Indonesia.

Other disputed areas include a 37 hectare-wide Dilumi/ Memo land in the frontier area of Belu regency, a 141 acre-wide Bijael Sunan-Oben segment in North Central Timor regency which is the tomb of Dahala residents' ancestor, East Tasifeto and the irigation of Mota Malibaka river.

Besides Bijael Sunan-Oben, another conflicted segment is the coffee plantation belonging to the residents of Henes village where Timor Leste's borderline stake was put on a 30.000 meter-squared land of the residents of Laktutus, West Tasifeto subdistricy, Belu regency, East Nusa Tenggara owned by the people of Alas village, Kobalima subdistrict.

There is also placement of a stake by taking over the people's 19 acre-wide land in Aikakar, Alas village, Kobalima subdistrict. Therefore, there are still currently five disputed segments in the borderland between Indonesian and Timor Leste because the two countries have different documents.

For the disputed area located in Noelbesi/ Citrana, the issue would be harder to solve because the river-flow constantly changes during rainy season. In fact, the borderline agreement is based on the deepest point of the river.

Translated by: Nataya Ermanti

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