23 December 2009

Violent conflict between East Timorese refugees and local Indonesians in Nusa Tenggara Timur

The Jakarta Globe

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Indonesia Police Move to Quell Trouble in Kupang

Eras Poke

Kupang. Police in the East Nusa Tenggara provincial capital of Kupang on Monday set up checkpoints and searched vehicles for weapons a day after two groups clashed in the village of Oebelo.

Dozens of police officers stopped and conducted checks on passing vehicles and passersby in Tarus, located on the outskirts of Kupang.

Kupang Police Chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Heri Sulistianto said officers were also patrolling Oebelo and the surrounding area, as well as Noelbaki village, following the violence, which pitted former East Timorese refugees against local residents.

We are still on alert to prevent anything undesirable happening," Heri said.

He said that at the behest of leaders of the former East Timorese refugees, police had organized a meeting between the two sides in the clash. He added, however, that he had yet to receive a report on the results of the meeting.

The violence reportedly started when a businessman slapped an employee of the Oebelo village chief. As word of the incident spread, the unrest grew, resulting in injuries to several people but no fatalities.

Police have questioned several people over the violence but have yet to make any arrests.

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