||Asean Affairs 24 June 2013
Indonesia-Timor Leste agreement on border demarcation is forward step
The recent agreement reached by Indonesia and Timor Leste on the border demarcation between the two countries in Dilumil Memo area serves as a forward step they must follow up on soon, an international law observer said.
"The follow up action is important to give legal certainty and convenience to the peoples of the two nations living near the border demarcation as well as to prevent a horizontal conflict that may happen any time and disrupt the bilateral relations," Wilhelmus Wetan Songa, SH.MHum of Nusa Cendana University in Kupang said.
He was responding to an agreement reached at a bilateral meeting between the two countries at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on Friday when Timor Leste President Taur Matan Ruak paid a state visit.
Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa told the press following the meeting that Indonesia and Timor Leste have reached an agreement on the border demarcation between the two countries at Dilumil Memo.
With the agreement, the two countries have resolved one of three border demarcation points. The other two demarcation points are Bijael Sunan and Noel Besi located between Kupang and Timor Tengah Utara districts in Indonesia`s East Nusa Tenggara province bordering Oecusse district in Timor Leste.
At the meeting the two countries also signed a joint statement on the opening of Haekesak/Turiskain -Tunubibi, Builalo - Memo and Haumeniana - Passabe entry points.
According to Wetan Songa, senior officials of the two countries held meetings many times in the past but failed to reach an agreement on border demarcation.
As a result, border violation continued to happen, he said.
He said the land border between Indonesia and Timor Leste in the western part of East Nusa Tenggara is 268.8 kilometers long covering the districts of Kupang, Timor Tengah Utara and Belu.
"The total land borderline in the districts of Kupang, Timor Tengah Utara and Belu which is 268.8 kilometers long may increase or decline after there has been a follow up to the agreement," he said.
He said the total land borderline between in Timor Leste and Indonesia in Timor district is 149.9 kilometers long stretching from Motaain in the north to Mota Masin in the south.
Meanwhile, the borderline between Timor Leste`s Ambenue/Oecusse and Kupang district is 15.2 kilometers long and Timor Tengah Utara district 114.9 kilometer long, he said.