Dili – Timor-Leste tightens security in its Western border areas to make sure nobody crosses the frontiers, which are closed to stop the corona-virus from spreading. This decision was made because of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in neighbouring Indonesia.
While Timor-Leste is declared free from COVID-19 cases, the virus still spreading in other countries, especially Indonesia. This is the main reason why the government extended the State of Emergency (SoE) for a third period.
The chief of staff of FALINTIL F-FDTL, General Major Lere Anan Timur, informed that soldiers will support the special police patrol units reinforcing the security in the borders with West-Timor. The state of emergency makes these measures possible.
"We have increased the army in the border to respond especially because of COVID-19. We deployed most effective soldiers. I will not disclose the numbers, as this is military secret," General Major Lere said during a press conference in the Presidential Palace Bairo-Pite Dili on Wednesday (27/05).
The F-FDTL commander said the soldiers in the border will focus on stopping and preventing the spread of COVID-19 to Timor-Leste.
"Our soldiers are deployed to the borders to protect our frontier against the spread of COVID-19, because maybe some of our friends from the other side have been infected," he said.
The General Major made a request to all Timorese in the border areas, including the army, to support each other in stopping people moving from affected countries to Timor-Leste.
"We don't want a vagary to destroy many people. That's why our community and the local authorities, especially in the border, must consent,' he said.
The General Major said he understood that especially for communities in Covalima, Bobonaro and Oecusse it can be hard because they have family living across the border in West-Timor. But he warned that allowing people to cross the border 'will ease the spread which we don't want."