AMM asks government to investigate and disarm Aceh militia

Source – February 27, 2006
Aceh Monitoring Mission chief Pieter Feith (Tribune)
Aceh Monitoring Mission chief Pieter Feith (Tribune)

Banda Aceh – The Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM) has asked the Indonesian government to immediately conduct an investigation into the illegal groups that were behind the recent attack on the Aceh Referendum Information Center (SIRA) in Blang Pidie, West Aceh. This is because it smacks of the behaviour of an illegal group resembling a certain type of militia group.

“And the Indonesian government has a commitment to conduct and investigation and if it is open, the Indonesian government also has a commitment to disarm them”, explained AMM chief Pieter Feith at a press conference at the AMM offices in Banda Aceh on Monday February 27.

AMM said it wants to receive confirmation from the government in relation to the militia. If they are indeed an illegal group, Feith is asking them to be disarmed immediately. “We require confirmation from the Indonesian government before we can leave”, said Feith.

He added that it is absolutely disgraceful for both the European Union and ASEAN who have members in the AMM to just leave this problem with the Indonesian government so when the AMM has left and these illegal groups come to the surface again.

“With regard to illegal groups we have already asked the Indonesian government to conduct and investigation and to deal with the incident at Blang Pidie, there is a possibility of a militia connection behind this and it is up to the Indonesian government to draw a conclusion”, he said.

Nevertheless said Feith, it must also be remembered that SIRA is a civilian group in Aceh that must also be paid close attention to as an institution that gives the impression of struggling for a referendum for Aceh because of the use of the word “Referendum”. “We must pay close attention to SIRA’s presence here, and if so we must pay close attention to SIRA’s program where there is the word ‘referendum’ that could lead towards independence and a referendum which is not in accordance with the Helsinki MoU [Memorandum of Understanding]”, he said at great length.

The AMM has therefore invited the chairperson and members of SIRA to discuss its program and bring it into line with the Helsinki MoU. (asy)

[Translated by James Balowski.]