Indonesia condemns Australian navy waters incursions

By Curious

Australia is trying to stop asylum-seekers who make attempts of reaching the Australian coast via Indonesia in crowded and rickety boats. For the last 6 years, more than 50,000 people have decided to take a dangerous voyage for better life. Recently Indonesia has condemned Australia for entering Indonesian waters without permission during operations against asylum seekers. 

Australia has apologised to Indonesia and tried to explain that the navy vessels "inadvertently" entered Indonesian waters during an operation for pushing back asylum-seekers and suspected smugglers or other criminals. Indonesia desires all operations from Australian side to be stopped until the situation and the problems are clarified. Pushing back rickety boats far away from the borders became an important mission.  

Australian Immigration Minister, Scott Morrison, informed that violations had happened several times and would offer an "unqualified apology". He said also that his country is trying to do its job for "shared commitment with Indonesia to mutually respect the sovereignty of each nation very, very seriously". In attempt to explain the misunderstanding, Lieutenant General Angus Campbell, leading the operation for stopping asylum seekers boats of entering Australian waters, pointed the incursions on "positional errors".

"We have never intended for our assets to operate or to enter the sovereign territory of another nation," he explained.

Indonesia will take measures against future violations and will intensify its maritime patrols.

"Indonesia demands that such [asylum] operations conducted by the Australian government that led to this incident be suspended until further clarification is received."

The closest point to the Australian territory is the Christmas Island, a place for smugglers transporting people on rickety boats. The attempts of smuggling rose dramatically in the end of 2012 and the start of last year. Dozens of passengers lost their life during the risky voyages. Last year, a decision was taken, an Operation Sovereign Borders was started to allow a military control over the threat of people-smugglers. Since then, many asylum-seekers boats were pushed back to Indonesian waters by Australian navy patrols. Australia is determined to defend its territory and for that has bought lifeboats for sending back to Indonesia asylum-seekers. 

Recently an incident was reported about an Australian navy vessel that had fired shots in the air against asylum boat. The government denied all the allegations for the fire.

Photo: AP