Naktuka Incidents-Oecusse: Negotiation and Solution?

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Fundasaun Mahein, March 6, 2013

Naktuka Incidents-Oecusse: Negotiation and Solution?

Press Release

Mahein Voice No 46 analyze the incidents occurred in Naktuka from period of 2009-2013. The incidents in fronteir have repeatedly occurred since the restoration of Independence of Timor-Leste in 2002 and the sovereignty transfer from the United Nations. Timor-Leste and Indonesia have not precisely to determine the border lines. On the other hand, these two countries haven’t agreed on final accord like in Naktuka.

The Naktuka incidents have triggered tragic consequences to Naktuka community since 2009 to 2013. Furthermore these incidents have resulted in life lost of some community members, property destruction and movement obstruction.

These incidents are caused by different perspective and interpretation from the government of Dili and Jakarta regarding to the border line in Naktuka area. Both government have defended its own position and historical perspective. Moreover, the interpretation of Dili government is based on cultural, social and economic aspects. However, the Jakarta government have defended its position based on the river which flows in the Naktuka area.

This complicated problem is also related to the strong social and cultural aspect that shared by both communities living in the border. The family relationship and ritual practices may also fume the problem which unavoidably may result in the tragic incidents.

The incidents become worse in the last month of 2012 where the Indonesia National Army (TNI) and some civilians murdered a Timorese citizen, Vicente Fale in Naktuka, who was working in his farm. Just in several days, almost 10 members of Indonesia National Army illegally entered Naktuak area and the community was frightened with such action.

Fundasaun Mahein also questioning about the negotiation conducted by the government of Timor-Leste and Indonesia. There have been 23 negotiations so far, however there is no solution agreed by both parties. On 27-29 October 2010, both government conduction a negotiation under Technical Sub Committe-Border Demarcation Regulation (TSC-BDR) in Jakarta, however both government were unable to agree on the issue.

Fundasaun Mahein considers both government have commented and opinionated on the issue only in the media. When the incidents occurred, both government trying to express their opinion in the media both in Dili and Jakarta. However, there is no real diplomat action taken to halt the violence that continue to occur in the border.


1. With different interpretation and perspective of Dili and Jakarta regarding to the problem, Fundasaun Mahein recommends to both government to find a solution through diplomacy negotiation.

2. Dili and Jakarta need to orient a communicative military and police in the border in order to avoid disputes and potential conflict.

3. Commission B of Parliament National which dealing with Defense, Security and Foreign Affairs to utilize its political capacity and its representation to urge the government of Timor-Leste and Indonesia to solve the dispute border.

4. Recommend to the government of Timor-Leste through the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation to carry out continuous diplomatic negotiation and dialogue with Indonesia government to define proper demarcation in Naktuka.

5. Dili and Jakarta need to involve the local community in the negotiation as the social and cultural relations of the community in the border is very complex.

For further information, please contact:

Nelson Belo
Director of Fundasaun Mahein
Tlp + 670 7737 4222

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