Non-organic troops will soon be withdrawn from Aceh

Kompas – July 6, 2005
Indonesian soldiers on patrol in Aceh (Benar News)
Indonesian soldiers on patrol in Aceh (Benar News)

Jakarta – The last of a series of informal negotiations between the Indonesian government and members of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) will be held on July 11-18 with a focus on drafting an agreement toward resolving the Aceh conflict peacefully and permanently. One of the planed agreements will be the withdraw non-organic troops who are deployed there together with the confiscation of all illegal arms which are in circulation in Aceh.

“In the next [round of] negotiations a MOU (memorandum of understanding) will be signed which will include no more illegal weapons being present in Aceh. If the conflict is ended permanently, what else are these illegal weapons for. The TNI [armed forces] will also no longer be present in Aceh, except those that are normally [deployed at the provincial level] or the organic [troops] there”, said the Minister for Communication and Information Sofyan Djalil at the Presidential Offices in Jakarta on Tuesday July 5.

Djalil, who has participated in four rounds of informal negotiations with a number of GAM figures in Helsinki, revealed that 90 per cent of the basic issues can be accepted by the two parties. The remaining 10 per cent will be resolved in the final informal negotiations while preparing a draft agreement. “Hopefully before August 17 2005 we will be able to resolve the Aceh question so that it can be [like] an independence gift1,” said Djalil. (INU)


1. Indonesia officially celebrates its Independence Day on August 17.

[Translated by James Balowski.]