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State of Acheh Deplores Civil Emergency Rule

THE STATE OF ACHEH
THE PRIME MINISTER ‘S OFFICE

P.O.BOX 130, S-145 01 NORSBORG, SWEDEN
TEL : +46 8 531 83833
FAX: +46 8 531 91275

16 MAY 2004

POLICY STATEMENT

The State of Acheh deplores the Indonesian Security Minister’s Hari Sabarno announcement of last May 13 that the Martial Law in Acheh would be lifted and replaced with a civil emergency rule and that no troops would be withdrawn and the military would still have the power to impose curfews, setup blockades and detain suspects indefinitely. In other words, the change is merely a window dressing exercise to hide the dismal failure of the military to perform its duty, other than carrying out indiscriminate killing of thousands of civilians, kidnapping, rapes and other gross violations of human rights as have been well documented by international NGOs, including the reports released by the US Department of State, (February 25, 2004).

For a whole year the armed forces of the State of Acheh, TNA, have been taking the atrocities of the Indonesian military and police forces with patience and restraint in order to give the Indonesian civilian leadership a chance to build its case againts the military, that force would not solve anything. We had thought that the failure would force the military to admit their mistake and would return the reign of its colonial occupation in Acheh back to the civilian leadership who would then pursue a peaceful dialogue with us.

Unfortunately, we have been proven wrong. There is no intention whatsoever on the part of the Indonesian Government, military or civilian,to try to find a peaceful solution to the conflict. In fact, they are not interested to find a solution at all, as the continued bloodshed in Acheh is a very useful tool for the political elite in Jakarta to hide their failures in every sectors of life in the country.

Not only the Indonesian leadership is unwilling to pursue a peaceful settlement in the Acheh conflict, it is also fomenting other conflicts everywhere else outside Java. There have been renewed violence in Papua, Ambon, Kalimantan and Sulawesi. Even the islands of Batam and Riau are not spared.

In Acheh the colonial occupation forces have resorted to all sorts of dirty tricks and atrocities. They have created militia groups to terrorize villagers into participating in the elections. They have resorted to kidnapping, detaining and even executing detainees or members of The Acheh Armed National Forces (TNA/ GAM) families.

Having considered such blatant disregard by the Indonesia occupational forces for the rules of engagement, international conventions, human rights and humanitarian considerations, the Government of the State of Acheh has no choice but to make the following conclusions:

1. The changing of the status of the Martial Law into the Civil Emergency without the withdrawal of the troops that were dispatched to Acheh under the Martial Law as imposed on 19 May 2003, is without substance.

2. The continued presence of such a massive occupational troops indefinitely in Acheh is an ACT OF WAR.

Consequently, the Government of the State of Acheh does hereby decide that it:

1. Acknowledges this DECLARATION OF WAR by the Government of Indonesia against the nation and the people of Acheh, and it will thus order TNA troops to act accordingly.

2. Does hereby give notice to the Indonesian Government and to the international community that TNA shall henceforth regard all Indonesian military or civilian government facilities and personnel, as parts of the colonial occupational war machine, and that it reserves the right to attack them.

3. Does hereby inform the international community that it is still ever ready to return to the negotiating table and it does indeed hope that the international community particularly the United Nations would be able to persuade the Indonesian government to find a peaceful solution to the long and bloody conflict in Acheh, to do the same.

Stockholm, Sweden

The Government of the State of Acheh in exile


Malik Mahmud
Prime Minister


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