Balikpapan, East Kalimantan. The Indonesian Armed Forces and the Malaysian counterpart will hold joint patrols to monitor the boundary between the two countries on Kalimantan island, an Indonesian officer said on Tuesday.
The patrol will begin from the communal Indonesian-Malaysian post at Semanggaris in Nunukan, East Kalimantan and end in the Serudon areas of Malaysia, the head of the Aji Suryanatakusuma military area command, Brig. Gen. Gadang Pambudi, said.
Gadang added that a total of 37 border security personnel from Indonesia and 26 from Malaysia will take part in the week-long operation.
“The joint foot patrol will be [carried out] to check on border markers, but it will be more about [initiating a] border security arrangement,” Gadang said.
The two-star general added that the sentry will check 316 border markers and determine whether they have been moved or not.
“We admit that there are several border markers with problems, whether they have disappeared or [were] moved. For the time being we will jointly define their position,” he stated.
Indonesia and Malaysia have long-standing differences regarding the exact position of the border markers, frequently igniting tension between the two countries. Last month, officials in East Kalimantan called on the Indonesian government to immediately resolve the long-standing differences with Malaysia over the two countries’ shared border there, warning that the fate of five villages hung in the balance.
Frederik Beth, head of the provincial office for border and remote area management (BPKP2DT), said on Friday that unless the border between East Kalimantan’s Nunukan district and Malaysia’s Sabah state was clearly delineated, isolated communities in Nunukan could be absorbed into the neighboring country.
Gadang maintained that the location of border markers should be decided bilaterally.
The collaborative patrols are designed to engender a order in the region and lead to better coordination, beneficial information exchange and closer ties between the border guards on both sides of the borderline.
Brig. Gen. Dato Rajib Singh Rajit, a commander in the Malaysian Armed Forces, said that with the joint patrol, security at the border could be maintained, especially if it were done annually.
“I hope that it will also strengthen the brotherly ties and mutual understanding between [both] armed forces,” he added.