12 January 2013

Naktuka border dispute needs diplomacy, says MP Carmelita Moniz

ETLJB 12 January 2013 - Member of the East Timor National Parliament, Carmelita Moniz from the CNRT Party was reported by Suara Timor Lorosae on 8 January 2013 as saying that the issue of the border between East Timor and Indonesia at Naktuka in the District of Oecusse, needed to be resolved through diplomacy.

Ms.  Moniz appealed to both the Timorese and the Indonesian governments to settle the case by diplomacy to avoid conflict.

"The government of these two countries should resolve border dispute through diplomatic ways," she said.

Her remarks come following the torture and murder of an East Timorese man near Naktuka in which the Indonesian military (TNI) is suspected of involvement. Indonesia's National Army (TNI) members are suspected of being engaged in murdering one Timorese at Naktuka border recently.

The border between the two countries has been closed at the area in which the murder occurred while the case is being investigated.

For the purposes of the investigation, the Border Police Unit has proposed the establishment of temporary border posts in Naktuka as a way of avoiding more conflicts in the area. The Police Commissioner was reported by Radio Timor-Leste on 11 January 2012 as stating that the East Timor police command has already contacted the Indonesian National Army (Tentara Nasional Indonesia) to schedule a meeting to later this month to discuss security in the area as well as the establishment of temporary border posts.

Police Commissioner Monteiro said the aim of setting up the temporary post in Naktuka was to guarantee the security for the people and that "[the East Timorese} government has given a positive response to the proposal to establish a new temporary post." He added that the police were already deploying officers to the area to provide security for the local residents in Naktuka.

But the Commissioner also stressed that the incidents at the border near Naktuk were not only a matter of scurity bu also one of policy.

Independente reported on 11 January 2013 remarks by the Commissioner that the recent murder happened because the PNTL Border Unit (UPF) and the Indonesian National Army (TNI) failed in securing the place but also because of political issue in which the two countries had not yet finalised the demarcation of the border..

According to Independent, the Commissioner said that "the incident happened not only because of security issues but also the political issue which has not yet been  resolved regarding the border area in Naktuka. We therefore hope that in addition to resolving the security issue, the two governments will resolve the political issue regarding this part of the land border between Indonesia and Timor-Leste".

Sources: Suara Timor Lorosae 08/01/2013, Radio Timor-Leste 11/01/2013, Jornal Independents 11/01/2013  Edited by Warren L. Wright

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