Indonesia

Indonesia: Harder Jakarta line on Aceh

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Laksamana.Net - As the Indonesian military warn they will use force against Aceh separatist rebels if they fail to disarm starting February 9, as laid down in the December peace accord, they lost one soldier, Second Sergeant Zellwijal in an extraordinary incident. His colleague, First Private Yuliasri, at Simpang Paya village, North Aceh, shot Zellwijal with a semi-automatic rifle.
Both men were part of a military team providing security to the Exxon-Mobil oil and gas production facilities. The reason for the shooting is unknown

The warning to rebels from the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) came in no uncertain terms when Aceh military commander Major General Djali Yusuf said "if they violate the agreement, there's no other option for us but to use force and take emergency action".

The ceasefire agreement was signed by the Indonesian government and GAM in Geneva on December 9 in an effort to end 26 years of conflict.

"GAM has spread many lies to the public. If they don't want (to abide by the agreement) just say so. February 9 will be the benchmark," Yusuf said, in reference to the date on which GAM is required to start laying down their guns at designated sites.

There has been a sharp decrease in violence since the signing of the truce but the military and GAM continue to blame each other of violating the peace pact.

The rebels Friday (31/1/03) also accused the military of bad faith. "We ... feel that the Indonesian side is still not sincere in carrying out the clauses of the agreement. They are still intensely seeking any loophole to be used and abused for their advantage to the maximum," said GAM spokesman Sofyan Daud.

"The TNI (military) is still having to send condolences to families of victims of killings and other atrocities perpetrated by the Indonesian side," Daud said in a statement quoted by Agence France-Presse.

The Joint Security Committee (JSC) charged with monitoring the ceasefire has received reports of 499 violations since the JSC's formation on December 20, Major General Tanongsuk Tuvinun, of Thailand, told reporters earlier.

Tanongsuk, senior JSC envoy for the HDC, said that of those 499 allegations, his monitoring teams have investigated 35. The committee is made up of members from the government, GAM and foreign representatives.

The JSC last week said both GAM and the Indonesian government were guilty of truce violations after the two sides publicly admitted wrongdoing.

Since the signing of the pact at least 19 civilians, three rebels and five members of the security forces have been killed.

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