Indonesia to build military base near southern Philippines
The Jakarta Post
Indonesia will build more military bases on some of its most outer islands, including Morotai Island in North Maluku, which shares a border with the Philippine island of Mindanao where Islamic militants have attempted to control a city.
Indonesian Military Commander Gen. Gatot Nurmantyo said on Thursday that plans to build a military base in Morotai Island were aimed at preventing militant groups from entering Indonesia.
Gatot said once the new military facility was built, military equipment would be brought there. He said the government would start building the Morotai Island military base as soon as the one on Natuna Island, another of Indonesia’s outer islands in Riau Island Province, was completed.
“So, as President Jokowi has said, Morotai is an island where a military base will be built. But the construction process will be done step by step. Our priority is [the one] in Natuna, which is still under construction. After this, then Morotai,” Gatot said as quoted by Antaranews.com.
The Indonesian military and the National Police have tightened security along areas that share a border with Mindanao to prevent militant groups from entering Indonesia.
Gatot said the military would deploy surveillance planes and add more ships to patrol the sea around North Maluku. (saf/ary)
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