1. NATURAL DISASTERS
An earthquake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale shook Bengkulu province on Saturday morning. No casualties were reported.
Singapore has sent S$ 50,000 (about US$28,500) worth of tents, blankets and medical supplies for the Nias flood victims, while France has allocated 50,000 FF (about US$6,900) to IFRC for the provision, in cooperation with the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI), of food and relief items to them.
National Logistics Agency (Bulog) Chief Widjanarko Puspoyo predicted on Saturday that the government would import 1.8 million to 2 million tons of rice in anticipation of a long drought next year.
President Megawati signed on 9 August a decree giving special autonomy to Aceh and presented it to a group of 40 leaders from the province, including the Governor, religious scholars, university professors and other personalities in a ceremony at the State palace on 15 August. She reportedly emphasized that violence would not solve problems.
Antara on 15 August reported that President Megawati intends to visit Aceh in the first week of September in an effort to help solve the conflict. Aceh Governor Abdullah Puteh told reporters following the meeting at the Palace on Wednesday that the President might visit several districts.
The Jakarta Post on 15 August reported that a spokesman of the Coordinating Ministry for Political and Security Affairs said on Tuesday that the government would evaluate the effectiveness of Presidential Instruction No. 4/2001 on the restoration of law and order in Aceh, as six of the steps spelled out in the instruction had not worked as effectively as expected. The spokesman said that separatist activities had been curbed, especially in major GAM centres such as Pidie, Bireun, and North, East and South Aceh.
According to Antara news agency, Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Indroko Sastrowiryono has ordered the Indonesian navy on Monday to conduct an operation in the Straits of Malacca to put an end to the supply of arms to GAM from abroad.
The massacre on 9 August of 31 villagers and the wounding of 7 others on the grounds of the PT Bumi Flora Plantation Estate, an oil palm company, in Idi Rayeuk district, East Aceh, remains a key issue. The military has accused GAM for the killing, but GAM denied responsibility and called for the establishment of an independent team to probe the case before taking it to an International Tribunal should the investigation find evidence of the involvement of the TNI and police in the bloodshed. According to the Medan-based Waspada daily on 12 August, Governor Abdullah Puteh also asked Home Affairs Minister Hari Sabarno to send an independent team to East Aceh to investigate the incident in order to give it an appropriate response and avoid triggering new conflicts. Coordinating Minister for Political and Security Affairs Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has since announced that the government would set up a team to investigate the incident. Minister of Foreign Affairs Hassan Wirayuda has rejected calls for an international investigation into the massacre, because it would infringe upon its sovereignty.
The local daily Serambi Indonesia has stopped publishing on 11 August, because of pressure from GAM, which accuses the newspaper of not having reported the Idi Rayeuk incident impartially. Serambi's editor said that the newspaper may not be issued until after 17 August, Indonesia's Independence Day.
The Aceh Referendum Information Centre (SIRA) in a press release signed by its President, Hamzah, on Sunday 12 August announced that they suspected the TNI and police were involved in the Idi Rayeuk incident. The police spokesman, Sad Harun, accused SIRA of slander, and consequently legal action might be taken against SIRA.
On Monday 13 August, the army carried out a security operation with 42 trucks in Keude Geureubak in Idi Rayeuk sub-district. The Waspada daily reported the next day that that the Head of the GAM information bureau of Peureulak district, Tgk Ishak Daud, said the army had threatened, terrorized and intimidated the people by gathering them in a field and forcing them to make a (recorded) oath promising to be loyal to their country, and stating that GAM was behind the recent killing. It also reported that the army burnt 3 schools in Idi Rayeuk.
The North Aceh education office was bombed at 8am on 13 August. Five officers were seriously injured and many parts of the building destroyed. A bomb had exploded earlier at the SKB (Education Activity Gallery) building. No victims were reported during the incident. On the same day, a bomb was also found at the sub-district office of Banda Sakti, which an elite police team managed to defuse.
Kompas reported on 16 August that 55 schools were burned down in Aceh the previous day.
About 2,000 residents of Muara Dua sub-district of North Aceh declared loyalty on 13 August to the Republic of Indonesia. The declaration comprised five points: Loyalty to Pancasila and the 1945 Constitution, loyalty to the Republic of Indonesia and refusal of provocations that might damage the unity of Indonesians, refusal of any kind of intimidation, refusal of propaganda and anarchism, and finally, support to the security forces for Islamic Law enforcement and the implementation of special autonomy.
The local authorities of Pidie district delivered more than Rp. 2 billion (about US$ 235,000) of humanitarian assistance to victims of violence, including IDPs and returnees, according to a spokesman, Maimun Ibrahim, on 11 August. He said the amount is considered insufficient as the incident in Tiro alone would need Rp. 10 billion to rebuild hundreds of buildings including houses, worship facilities and pesantren (traditional boarding Islamic schools).
On 15 August, the Waspada daily reported that a tornado hit several sub-districts in Pidie, killing one civilian and seriously damaging hundreds of houses. The local authorities are still awaiting accurate reports from the heads of each sub-district.
According to the latest PMI figures, dated 10 August there are 15,555 IDPs (3,780 families) in Aceh:
- East Aceh: 629 people (139 families)
- North Aceh: 943 people (154 families)
- Central Aceh: 10,728 people (2,734 families)
- Bireuen: 1740 people (343 families)
- West Aceh: 981 people (256 families)
- Pidie: 15,555 people (3,780 families)
Around 1,100 people are reported to have fled their villages in Idi Rayeuk sub-district since the Idi Rayeuk incident. These people, who originally came from Pidie, Bireun, and North Aceh districts and settled in central Aceh over fifteen years ago, returned to their original home areas, where they still have houses.
OXFAM, in cooperation with PMI, has distributed family kits to 94 IDP families in Seunagan, West Aceh and 380 family kits to IDP families in Tiro Pidie during the first week of August. Between 13 March and 13 June, OXFAM distributed 191 family kits to IDPs in Julie sub-district, Bireun, 310 family kits to IDPs in Sungai Mas sub-district, West Aceh and 703 kits for IDPs in 6 sub-districts in Central Aceh.
3. CENTRAL SULAWESI
CWS reported that due to the latest clashes in the area in July, the number of IDPs is estimated at approximately 20,000 in the sub-districts of North Pamona, East Pamona and South Pamona. Some 2,000 families (about half the total caseload) are newly displaced from Poso town and the sub-districts of Poso Pesisir and Lage. CWS is assisting some 1,200 newly arrived IDP families in Tentena, North Pamona with its local partner Crisis Centre GKST by distributing shelter materials such as tents, blankets, mats, mattresses and mosquito nets between 14 and 23 August. CWS is providing similar assistance to approximately 850 families in Palu, where a distribution was carried out by POSKO-KNPI and Immanuel Church on 13-16 August. Government assistance to IDPs in North Pamona is limited to 1,000 persons who receive 3kg of rice per person per distribution. CWS distributed some 40MT of rice in Pamona (North, South and East) last week as part of the agreement between WFP and CWS to distribute 100MT of rice per month in the sub-districts of Pamona, Poso Pesir, North Lore and Lage. A recent CWS assessment has found that there is also a need for rice in Poso town.
4. IRIAN JAYA
A clash between the military and the local police caused the death of one person in Nabire.
Negotiations with the abductors of two Belgian nationals are reportedly in a stalemate.
WFP has formally extended an agreement with the PMI, its implementing partner in Madura, for the distribution of rice to IDPs. The extension will cover a further 3 months and provide 1,950 MT of rice for up to 65,000 IDPs in Sampang District only. WFP provides PMI with funding as well to cover the cost of implementing this operation. The next distribution will start on 21 or 22 August. For its part, the government is responsible for food distribution to 20,000 IDPs in the sub-district of Bangkalan.
WVI is conducting a survey to find out if non-food items are needed by IDPs in Sampang district, in which case they would consider a distribution of such items.
WVI closed one of its three therapeutic feeding centres in Sampang district and converted it into a mobile clinic.
The European Commission has granted EURO 500,000 (about US$450,000) to WVI for health and nutrition projects as well as the supplementary feeding of malnourished IDP children.
The overall situation has remained calm with less frequent gunfire around Ambon City. On 15 August, a homemade bomb exploded in Ambon harbour killing three people. The bomb was on a motorcycle carrying two of the victims when it accidentally exploded.
An MSF-B vehicle was damaged as an irritated mob attacked it on Sunday 12 August. It is reported that it was not a deliberate targeting of the organisation, but rather a result of a misunderstanding when the vehicle was passing a roadblock. No injuries were sustained by any person in the incident. The roadblock was set-up to prevent the Mayor and Vice-Mayor to visit Kebun Cengkeh, as a protest against the new Mayor.
Following the 3 August attack on Alang Asaude during which three TNI soldiers were taken hostage, the battalion commander guarding the village negotiated an exchange of the hostages for 35 Mujahiddin fighters.
Maluku Regional Military Commander, Mustopo, stated that there is no plan to reduce the number of soldiers in Maluku.
UNICEF is on a three-day mission to central Seram focusing on how best to assist the health and sanitation authorities in central Maluku district.
IMC has conducted a weeklong health assessment in Tual, Southeast Maluku.
MSF-B completed its assessment mission of health and water & sanitation to western and central Seram on 10 August. Observations are of reasonably good shelter conditions, fairly high incidence of malaria and certain deficiencies in the water and sanitation sector. Worst off are three camps around Masohi, home to IDPs who have recently arrived from Taniwel in the north of Seram (due to poor health and lack of aid). Although these camps are poorly off the people are much more content than previously in Taniwel. A striking impression was that IDPs as a rule seemed to better provide for themselves than in the Ambon camps, most likely a result of having received much less outside assistance and therefore having been forced to care for themselves. Most urgent needs are in the water supply and sanitation areas - MSF-B is contemplating this type of assistance. The malaria problem is endemic in Seram. While mosquito nets were handed out, the slightly longer-term intervention will be to reduce the breeding sites in the surrounding areas, primarily through improved drainage and reduction of standing water.
ACF commenced food and hygienic products distribution in Ambon town on 14 August and will subsequently proceed to Sirisori Islam (Saparua island) and then to Tehoru for distribution before the end of the month.
During the past week local NGO Yayasan Lakpesdam distributed 600 MTs of rice for low-income people and IDPs in Ambon, Seram, Haruku and Saparua Island. The distribution/situation was somewhat tense in Saparua while it was reported as very calm in the rest of the locations.
7. NORTH MALUKU
The Jakarta Post reported on 11 August that the government has set up a team to investigate whether Abdul Gafur of Golkar Party, who was elected Governor of North Maluku on 5 June, bribed two members of the DPRD to vote in his favour. If the bribery allegations are confirmed, a new election will be held. The provincial council recommended to the Minister of Home Affairs that the term of acting governor Muhyi Effendi be extended until a new governor is elected.
IDP Issues/Population Movements
Satkorlak (provincial disaster management coordination body) reported that Satlak (equivalent of Satkorlak, but at district level) facilitated the return of 15 households (50 Moslem IDPs) on 8 August from camp locations in Ternate City to homes in Pacao village of Loloda sub-district.
A Satlak was set up on 14 August in Ternate City to speed up the IDP return process. The city's Mayor, Samsir Andili, will chair the Satlak, which will work with departments such as social welfare, community leaders, IDPs and returnees to facilitate a smooth return and reintegration of IDPs in the city.
Dra Kartini Elake, head of the section in charge of Women Empowerment at the Governor's office, stated that at least 88,654 women affected by the communal conflict in the province would need special attention from the Ministry of Women Empowerment. Most of them are displaced.
Assessments and monitoring
ACF has completed a survey of reconstruction needs in East Gane sub-district. Findings of the mission will be reported next week.
ICRC and PMI undertook a survey on reconstruction, agronomy, health and TMS (Trace Mailing Service) needs on Obi Island in Loloda sub-district. The team reported that according to information collected from the residents 1,000 houses were destroyed during the conflict. The team found little difference between their figures and government data on the number of IDPs from the area and destroyed homes. During the mission, the team explained to the local authorities and communities in the area the objectives of the next ICRC-PMI for agricultural and rehabilitation programme.
ACF distributed food in Gane Timur sub-district.
WFP and the Government (Bappenas, Depsos, Bakornas and Bulog) decided at a recent meeting on food assistance to IDPs in Indonesia to carry out a joint fact-finding mission in Maluku to assess the food situation. The mission will travel to North Maluku next week and if needed, WFP is ready to provide food for IDPs and returnees through NGOs.
ACF has distributed non-food items and agricultural tools in Gane Timur sub-district and arrangements are being made for the distribution of building material packages for the construction of T-21 standard houses, the design of which has been approved by the Indonesian authorities.
MDM doctors visited and attended to patients in the villages of Baru, Bataka, Borona, Duano, Tobaol, Togola and Sanger in Ibu sub-district. Malaria is a common ailment in the area and TB has also been diagnosed in some cases. MDM is facilitating early TB detection and registering TB cases.
IMC routine health activities were carried out in Tobelo, Galela, Kao, Daruba, Posi-Posi Rao and Bere-Bere. IMC doctors also attended to pregnant women and monitored child health.
When on mission on Obi Island, the ICRC-PMI team observed that local health activities appear to have been restored to their pre-conflict level. However, despite the presence of doctors and the availability of relatively sufficient supplies of essential drugs, they noted that the vaccination programme and the supply of vaccines are inadequate. While visiting Lawi village (same sub-district), the team found 48 patients (34 children and 14 adults) suffering from bloody diarrhoea.
Water and Sanitation
MDM is constructing 15 rainwater collection tanks at different locations in Sahu sub-district.
The Education Department of North Maluku district has appointed 139 new teachers and 31 school-keepers, who will be posted to elementary schools in various parts of the district as part of a program to improve education in the district.
8. WEST KALIMANTAN
CRS and WVI will jointly support food-for-work projects in Pontianak.
WFP has stated its readiness to provide food for IDPs in new settlement sites.
WVI is assessing the agricultural situation and have indicated they would consider providing assistance if needed.
ICMC is looking into supporting the most vulnerable groups of IDPs in Pontianak.
The Government has sent a mission to West Kalimantan to assess water and sanitation, livelihood and other urgent needs of IDPs in the settlement sites.
9. WEST TIMOR
UNTAET has proposed to the Indonesian Foreign Ministry the setting up of an Ad Hoc Committee in order to fully review the shooting of an Indonesian soldier by New Zealand Peacekeepers on 28 July at the Indonesia-East Timor border some 4km southwest of Tilomar in Suai District. The proposed Peacekeeping Force (PKF)/TNI Committee will work to reach conclusions acceptable to both sides as well as agree on preventative measures for the future. In addition, the PKF has approved the formation of a Board of Inquiry, a UN internal investigation, following the initial fact-finding investigation carried out by UN Military Observers immediately after the incident.
In an interview with the daily NTT Express, the Vice Governor of NTT province, Johanes Pake Pani, said that the central government would announce the result of the refugee registration conducted on 6-7 June next week. Pake Pani added that the delay was due to the rechecking process of the votes of each district. He also mentioned that the government is still giving a chance for those refugees who opted to stay in Indonesia during the registration to change their minds and be included in the repatriation movements facilitated by IOM.
President Megawati has appointed and sworn in Muhammad Abdurrahman as the new Attorney General. The Jakarta Post on 15 August reported that he was serving in the Attorney General's Office and said that his position is considered to be one of the most crucial ones in the Cabinet as his work will determine the public's perception of the government's commitment to eradicate corruption and settling past cases of human rights abuses. His appointment has elicited some criticism.
An interim office of the Truth, Reception and Reconciliation Commission was set up in Dili. It will initially consult with East Timor's civil society organizations to establish selection panels that will solicit views from the East Timorese community over who should become Commissioners. Deputy SRSG Dennis McNamara will head the selection panel. Six regional offices will be set up in the near future.
This report and all previous ones can be found on OCHA's website at www.reliefweb.int
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