DILI, 31 march 2023 (TATOLI) – The President of Parliamentary Committee B which deals with Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Security Affairs, José Agostinho Sequeira ‘Somotxo’, called on the Timorese National Police (PNTL) and the National Defense Force (F-FDTL) to deploy more personnel to the border zones to ensure stability in the country for the 21 may parliamentary elections.
“We need to strictly control the border areas to prevent illegal border crossings and illicit trade,” Somotxo told reporters at the House of Parliament in Dili today.
Committee B has held a meeting with the Ministry of Interior to discuss the allocation of resources including budget, transport, and equipment to support the Joint Border Control Operation of the F-FDTL and PNTL.
“Budget, transport, and patrol equipment are needed to strengthen the border patrol operation, especially at illegal crossing points,” Somotxo said.
Committee B has visited the border areas of Timor-Leste to inspect facilities, including the Police and the F-FDTL posts at the border areas of Motain in Bobonaro, Mota-Masin in Covalima, and RAEOA.
According to Somotxo, illegal border crossing and illicit trade continue to increase since the government imposed the excise tax on tobacco, sugar, sugary drinks, etc.
“The cases of illegal crossing are higher compared to 2022. So, the government needs to take this issue into consideration,” he stressed.
Somotxo said: “Therefore, it is necessary to deploy more police officers and military personnel in the border areas to ensure stability in the country, especially during the political campaign and the upcoming elections.”
Journalist: Filomeno Martins
Editor: Nelia Borges