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Cablegate: German Red Cross Rep Shot in Driveby Attack

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DE RUEHJA #1843/01 3100942
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 060942Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3742
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS COLL
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1144
RUEHHE/AMEMBASY HELSINKI 0963
RUEHBY//AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 3683
RUEHTC/AMQEMBASSY THE HAGUE 3491
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 2114
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RHHMUNA/USCINCPAC HONOLULU HI
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 JAKARTA 001843

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
AIDAC

DEPARTMENT FOR EAP/MTS, DS/IP/EAP, DS/DSS, INR/EAP and INL
DEPARTMENT PLEASE PASS AID
USAID FOR ANE/EAA, MARGOT ELLIS DAA ASIA BUREAU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL ASEC CASC SOCI ID
SUBJECT: GERMAN RED CROSS REP SHOT IN DRIVEBY ATTACK

REF: Jakarta 08 1828

1. (SBU) Summary. German national Dr. Erhard Bauer, head of the
German Red Cross in Indonesia, was shot in a drive-by shooting on
the early evening of November 5. Dr. Bauer was riding in the front
passenger seat of a clearly marked German Red Cross vehicle. The
assailant fired from the back of a motorbike and sped away after
firing three shots. While the motive for the shooting remains
unclear, there is no indication at this point that the shooting is
anything but an isolated incident or that there is any increased
threat to foreigners in Aceh. This shooting represents the most
serious security incident involving foreign nationals working for
international organizations in Aceh since the kidnapping of World
Bank advisor Adrien Morrell in September, 2008 (reftel) and the only
shooting incident involving a foreign national working for the
international community since 2005 tsunami relief and reconstruction
efforts began. End Summary.

Chronology
----------
2. (U) Shortly after 1700 local time on November 5 Dr. Bauer and
several Indonesian members of the German Red Cross in Aceh were
traveling in a German Red Cross Toyota Landcruiser along a road in
Greater Aceh District, the regency surrounding the provincial
capital of Banda Aceh. According to German Red Cross local staff
contacted by Medan on November 6 Dr. Bauer was on a working visit
from Jakarta visiting Aceh from November 4 to 6. Media reports
confirmed by initial police accounts stated a motorbike with driver
and passenger pulled up alongside the vehicle on the passenger side
and a total of three shots were fired by the passenger of the
motorbike into the vehicle, all concentrated on the front passenger
side of the car where Dr. Bauer was seated.

3. (U) Dr. Bauer sustained injuries to one of his arms and hand and
suffered a gunshot wound to his ribcage. Neither the Indonesian
driver nor the other passengers (Indonesian local staff of the
German Red Cross) riding in the vehicle at the time of the shooting
were injured. Dr. Bauer was taken to a local hospital for treatment
where Governor Irwandi Yusuf and Police Chief Adityawarman visited
him. Media photos show him conscious and sitting up on his gurney at
the hospital. In the early morning of November 6 Dr. Bauer was
medically evacuated to Singapore for further treatment.

4. (SBU) APP Medan Principal Officer spoke to Police leading the
investigation on November 6, who stated they are trying to recover
bullet fragments and following up leads in the case but have no
suspects or motive identified at this early stage. Medan PO also
expressed concern for the safety of Americans and other foreigners
working in Aceh and asked police to keep USG apprised of their
efforts to find those responsible.

Reaction
--------
5. (SBU) The shooting marks the first time that a foreign national
working for the international community in Aceh has been the victim
of this type of attack. Officials at the Germany Embassy, contacted
on November 6 by Medan, expressed concern that a clearly marked Red
Cross vehicle would be the target of a shooting, and added their
disbelief that Dr. Bauer would have been targeted personally. In a
conversation with the resident European Commission representative in
Banda Aceh on November 6, John Penny, stated that the EC had asked
him to "lay low" pending results of the initial police
investigation, but that no NGOs had curtailed operations at this
point, although all were more vigilant in the wake of the attack.

6. (SBU) In a detailed written brief on the incident to the
international NGO community on November 6, respected resident
security analyst Stephen Almsteier cautioned against viewing a
single incident as a trend. While acknowledging the seriousness of
the attack, he added that there is no information indicating that
this attack is part of a larger trend of targeting foreigners in
Aceh or that there is any increased risk to foreigners visiting or
working in Aceh. Nevertheless, given the seriousness of the incident
there are likely to be further discussions among the international
agencies working in Aceh over the coming days regarding
repercussions for the operational safety of Aceh-based staff.

JAKARTA 00001843 002 OF 002

HUME

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