We will build and operate a naval base in Moa Island, Southwest Maluku district, in the not-so-distant future.
Ambon, Maluku (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Navy (TNI AL) is planning to set up a naval base in Southwest Maluku District, Maluku Province, which borders Timor-Leste.

"We will build and operate a naval base in Moa Island, Southwest Maluku District, in the not-so-distant future," Commander of Ambon Naval Base IX (Marine) Brigadier General Said Latuconsina informed in a written statement released in Ambon on Tuesday.

The construction of the naval base is aimed at helping TNI AL develop its integrated fleet weapons system as part of efforts to make it a reliable, respected, and world-class navy, he said.

In addition, the presence of the naval base in Moa Island is also designed to respond to strategic developments in order to secure the territorial waters of Maluku Province, which has a high level of vulnerability because it borders Timor-Leste and Australia.

Since most of Maluku comprises water, a military armament system is needed, especially for TNI AL, to maintain the sovereignty of the country's territory, he said.

Based on reports from various parties, including ship owners and fishermen, almost the entire territorial waters of Maluku are vulnerable to illegal fishing, he added.

"Many cases that we have found so far are related to illegal fishing in the border areas, not to mention fish smuggling and other violations. These all have become the center of TNI AL's attention to deal with them," he informed.

He further said the development of a naval base in Moa Island will improve the supervision of the territorial waters, particularly in the areas bordering the neighboring countries, and reduce the marine crime rate.

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Translator: Jimmy Ayal, Suharto
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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