AK-25, Jakarta – The defense department is still pursuing its plan for budget increases for the security operation in Aceh. A budget of as much as 526 billion rupiah is needed to pay for troops and the military operation in Aceh until December 2005.
“This amount includes the cost of withdrawing TNI (armed forces) troops from Aceh”, Defense Minister Juwono Sudarsono told journalists in Jakarta on Thursday August 4.
Although the TNI will not be involved in the mission to monitor the peace deal between the Indonesian government and the Free Aceh Movement, Sudarsono said that the TNI is still needed to maintain security in Aceh. “The TNI will not be involved in the Helsinki political process. Only the police will be involved in the mission. The TNI must act neutrally”, said Sudarsono.
According to Sudarsono, the proposed budget increase has already been submitted to the finance ministry and is awaiting approval from the People’s Representative Assembly Budgetary Commission.
The defense department and the TNI already have a budget of 2.19 trillion rupiah allocated from the 2005 state budget. In addition to requesting an additional 526 billion rupiah for the TNI, the department is asking for an additional 2 trillion rupiah for the defense department and the TNI’s needs. If the planed increases are realised, the defense department and the TNI’s total budget will be high as 23 trillion rupiah. [dzie]
[Translated by James Balowski.]