After previously interviewed local authorities regarding the territorial border dispute between Indonesia and Democratic Republic of Timor Leste, Institute of International Studies (IIS), Department of International Relations, Universitas Gadjah Mada (IR-UGM) continued the research agenda focusing on qualitative data collection on the grassroots level.
The research which entitled ‘Solving the Territorial Border Dispute between the Republic of Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Timor Leste in Hau Meni- Ana and Manusasi, District of Kefamenanu, Regency of Nort East Timor, Province of East Nusa Tenggara through Compliance to the Agreement and Prevention of Issue Internationalization’ consisting of Dr. Siti Mutiah Setiawati, MA (Lecturer of IR-UGM), Dra Ratnawati, SU (Lecturer of Department of Politics and Government, UGM), Drs. Susi Daryani, M.Sc (Lecturer of Department of Social Development and Welfare, UGM) and Muhammad Indrawan Jatmika, MA (Research Staff of IIS UGM) observed the condition Indonesia-Timor Leste borders in the village of Manusasi and Haumeni Ana, North Central Timor Regency, East Nusa Tenggara. The village directly bordering the Oecusse Districts of Timor Leste.
On this occassion, the team carried out an audience with the local community, government officials, and the TNI-POLRI as border guards. The community and local apparatus at the discussion said that there was already an agreement on the border area between Indonesia and Timor-Leste, but in practice the agreement could not be implemented properly due to the conflict of interest between the parties involved. To resolve various border disputes, the community has always upheld the values of brotherhood and local customs so that conflict’s potential can be minimized.
This border conflict resolution process was also helped by the existence of family and kinship ties between the border communities and the Timor-Leste people, henceforth the values of brotherhood were still upheld. Even so, the community also demands the central government to immediately determine actual national borders that has been agreed on by government to government with Timor-Leste, in order to achieve a stronger legal protection for Indonesian people in the disputed area.
In Haumeni – Ana Village, the IIS research team found a particular problem, namely unsurveyed border or border area where there had never been a government survey that could potentially lead to border conflicts between communities. In addition to the geographical factors described in the previous section, lack of approach to the community also complicate the survey of the border area around Haumeni Village – Ana. The combination of these two factors has caused no border surveys conducted in the region to this day. The community also emphasized that survey officers have not been able to accommodate their interests in border dispute conflicts, and instead tend to benefit the East Timorese. Difference of opinions between the two parties resulted in several rejection cases from the local community against the attempt to conduct border area surveys by related parties.
Writer : Indrawan Jatmika & Raditya Bomantara
Editor : Alifiandi Rahman Yusuf & Wilibrordus Bintang Hartono