Indonesia steps up border watch to prevent flow of illegal arms

Officials fear weapons may enter country after Philippine fighters surrender them under Mindanao deal

National police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo says Indonesia is stepping up surveillance and has analysed potential threats.
National police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo says Indonesia is stepping up surveillance and has analysed potential threats.

Indonesia has boosted surveillance of its vast and porous sea border with the southern Philippines, as the Manila government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) pursue a peace deal giving Muslims on Mindanao island broader autonomy in exchange for giving up their separatist goals.

Indonesian officials say they are worried that the deal, which involves the decommissioning of arms by the Muslim fighters, may lead to "leaks", with some of the guns and other weapons sold and smuggled into Indonesia.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 11, 2019, with the headline 'Indonesia steps up border watch to prevent flow of illegal arms'. Print Edition | Subscribe