Has Timor-Leste left behind its violent past?
Has Timor-Leste left behind its violent past?
Briefing 104 / Asia

东帝汶:欧库西与印度尼西亚边境

概述

在印度尼西亚结束其在欧库西·安贝诺省管辖权的十年间,印尼和东帝汶都为双边关系正常化做出了巨大的努力,但两国政府的美好意愿却尚未落实在边境问题的全面合作上。欧库西付出了高昂的代价,成为了东帝汶在印尼西帝汶境内的飞地。谈判代表至今未能就欧库西边境的其中两段边界达成共识,因此轻微本地争端政治化升级成为更大冲突的危险性依然存在。由于没有一个确定的边界,两国很难改善对边界的管理措施,而且也无法实施任何举措以促进交流并减轻飞地的隔离感。鉴于两国之间的联系日益增多,印尼和东帝汶应该优先解决这一尚未解决的问题。因为若对边界问题不加以解决,将只会加剧犯罪、贪污和爆发冲突的可能性。

如果不仅仅考虑边界问题所造成的安全威胁,两国还面临着一系列更广泛的挑战,例如对人口和商品流动的管理。尽管飞地几百年来一直保持着政治上的清晰界限,但被边界所分隔的家庭之间仍然保持紧密的联系。他们经常穿越边界,参加婚礼或葬礼;一些人甚至在另一个国家种田。由于与东帝汶的其他地区隔离,这里的居民依赖着印尼的廉价商品。

非正式的约定一直在缺乏可持续系统的情况下促进着商品和人口的流动,虽然一个可持续的系统将会促进本地运输,而会使其失去合法性,但当边界紧张局势升级时,这些非正式约定通常都会被暂停,这使得欧库西更加脆弱。两个国家正在建立的文明边界管理机构也许能够在过程中调解地方利益,但这些机构的设立即使不需等待数年,也至少需要等待数月。导致1999年选举期间的暴力事件以及之后大规模的越界迁移的争端尚未解决,所带来的挑战不只与安全有关,更关系着政治问题。因此,解决这些问题是飞地长期稳定的先决条件。

尽管欧库西在独立后的数年中都一度受到有关其可行性的质疑,主要是来自国外观察者的质疑,但这些忧虑低估了在飞地地区存在的强烈的东帝汶身份认同,也高估了边界另一边来自前印尼时代民兵组织的威胁。中央政府加大投资力度体现了帝力对于飞地的承诺。虽然受到当地居民的欢迎,但这些改革努力的起点很低,因为当地基础设施仍旧落后,获取信息的渠道有限,提供政府服务的能力也很薄弱。全国范围的地方分权本将赋予这一地区自治权,可以对一些当地的跨境事务做出决策,但这一分权进程在国家层级却一直停滞不前。东帝汶的领导层应考虑将欧库西的地方发展与边境进程相分离,为促进直接的跨境合作寻求途径和资金。

由于印尼和东帝汶致力于建设睦邻友好关系,两国应侧重于改善人民生活并降低边界两侧冲突的危险。尽管印尼声明意味着近期不太可能大幅度减少边界两侧的武装安全部队,但仍然应该将边界非军事化作为议事日程的一个长期目标,这一目标将真正反映正常的双边关系。应立即采取的步骤包括:

  • 将完成边界划定作为优先事项;

  • 正式在边界两侧政府和安全力量的所有层级中安排有效沟通,以创造能快速抑制未来冲突升级的途径;

  • 增进两国军队和警察之间在训练和专员交流等方面的合作;

  • 为两国公民引入商讨已久的边境通行证制度,落实共同边界市场的主动措施,这将促进商业和社会交流;

  • 改进东帝汶边境巡逻队的训练、设备和设施。

 帝力/布鲁塞尔, 2010年5月20日

Overview

Indonesia and Timor-Leste have done much to normalise relations ten years after the end to Indonesian rule in the former province, but the goodwill between capitals is not yet matched by full cooperation on the border. The costs are greatest in Oecusse, Timor-Leste’s isolated enclave inside Indonesian West Timor. Negotiators have so far failed to agree on two segments of Oecusse’s border, leaving open the risk that minor local disputes could be politicised and escalate into larger conflicts. Without a final demarcation, steps to improve management of the porous border have stalled. Initiatives that would promote exchanges and lessen the enclave’s isolation remain unimplemented. As the bonds between the two nations grow, they should prioritise this unfinished business. Leaving it unresolved can only promote crime, corruption and the possibility of conflict.

The security threat to Oecusse and its 67,000 inhabitants has sharply decreased since independence. While the unresolved border segments remain a catalyst for occasional tensions, no violence has taken place in recent years. Settlement of the border issue requires both national and local responses. The governments must work with renewed urgency to resolve the remaining disputed segments. Whatever border is agreed will not satisfy everyone. To alleviate this discontent, local arrangements for cross-border activities should be promoted. Without such flexibility, long-standing local disputes will fester and could escalate into active conflict.

Beyond security threats, the two countries face a range of border management challenges over the movement of people and goods. Though the enclave has remained politically distinct for several hundred years, links remain strong between families divided by the border. They cross regularly for marriages and funerals. Some even farm land in the other country. Isolated from the rest of Timor-Leste, residents depend on cheap goods from Indonesia.

Informal arrangements have served to facilitate movement of goods and people in the absence of a sustainable system that would promote rather than criminalise local traffic, but these are often put on hold when border tensions rise, increasing Oecusse’s vulnerability. Both countries are establishing civilian border management agencies that may help accommodate local interests in the medium term, but they are still months, if not years away. Unresolved issues regarding accountability for the violence around the 1999 referendum and the subsequent large-scale displacement across the border pose challenges that are more political than security-oriented. Their resolution is a prerequisite for the enclave’s long-term stability.

While Oecusse’s viability in the years following independence was once questioned – chiefly by foreign observers – such concerns underestimated the strong sense of Timorese identity in the enclave and overestimated the threat from former Indonesia-era militia on the other side of the border. Investment by the central government has increased, sending a message of Dili’s commitment to the enclave. While welcomed by residents, such efforts start from a low base. Infrastructure remains poor, access to information limited and the ability to deliver government services low. Nationwide decentralisation was to have given this district the autonomy to determine some of its own cross-border affairs, but the process has stalled at national level. Timor-Leste’s leadership should consider uncoupling Oecusse’s regional development from the broader process and look for ways to provide means and funds to promote direct cross-border cooperation.

As Indonesia and Timor-Leste work on being good neigh­bours, they should focus on concrete actions that improve life for the people and lessen the risk of conflict on both sides of the border. While Indonesian doctrine means a significant decrease in security forces on the border is unlikely in the near term, demilitarisation of the frontier should remain on the agenda as a long-term goal that would truly reflect normal relations. Immediate steps that should be taken include:

  • finalising demarcation of the border as a matter of priority;
  • formalising arrangements for efficient communications between government and security forces on both sides of the border and at all levels, so as to create avenues for quick de-escalation of future incidents;
  • increasing cooperation between the two countries’ military and police, including training and exchange of attachés;
  • introducing the long-discussed border pass system for citizens of both countries and implementing the initiative for joint border markets that would facilitate both commercial and social exchange; and
  • improving the training, equipment, and facilities of Timor-Leste’s border patrol unit.

Dili/Brussels, 20 May 2010

Commentary / Asia

Has Timor-Leste left behind its violent past?

Timor-Leste seems to have passed the test. With last Saturday’s parliamentary poll, it has now held three elections this year without significant violence. This will allow for the withdrawal of a UN peacekeeping mission whose 1,100-strong police component has long seemed out of synch with local realities. Its violent recent past may increasingly look like history, although the poor country that celebrated only the 10th anniversary of the restoration of its independence in May still faces numerous challenges.

Concerns that the formation of a new coalition government might give rise to violence, as occurred following the 2007 elections, now look misplaced as provisional results show only four parties due to take seats in parliament (official results are due next week). A look at the seat results shows that the CNRT (National Congress for Timorese Reconstruction) has increased its share from 18 to 30 seats, and looks likely to form another government with former coalition partner Partido Democrático (eight seats) and maybe Frenti-Mudança (two seats).This is good for stability in the short term, but it also carries risks. A stronger government composed of fewer parties may be able to pursue clearer legislative objectives, but it will put great pressure on FRETILIN as perhaps the only party in opposition. As a young country only ten years on from independence, Timor-Leste’s parliament continues to consider questions of fundamental importance to the country’s future on which there is much debate, such as how to spend the billions in its Petroleum Fund, or how to structure land administration. Chosen from party lists and not constituencies, giving them little incentive to engage with communities, Timor-Leste’s parliamentarians to date have struggled to provide either an effective check on the executive or a constructive partner by initiating their own legislation. CNRT’s dominance will mean less active scrutiny and will further erode its role as an instrument of accountability.

The elections were not violence-free. There were some minor incidents of stone throwing and a report of three houses being burnt in Viqueque district in the last few days. But even in this volatile part of Timor-Leste, it was much less than the hundreds burnt around the 2007 polls. When we visited the district in May and asked why, the answer from the police, local government, chefes de suco, and civil society workers alike was unanimous – the threats from heads of the police and army had worked. Their blunt warnings that troublemakers would be shot were backed up with high-profile joint patrols and those contemplating violence got the message. It was a victory for “conflict prevention” that raised new questions about how the country will be governed in the future.

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