Only a few Acehnese people support the military emergency

Liputan6 – November 21, 2003
Security Minister Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (Liputan 6)
Security Minister Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (Liputan 6)

Jakarta – The Coordinating Minister for Politics and Security, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has asked the regional military commander Major General Endang Suwarya to improve the quality of the integrated operation in Aceh.

This request followed a statement by Suwarya who said that only 30 per cent of the Acehnese people support the military emergency. “If it is indeed so, yeh, his territorial [command] must be improved. Improve the effort to win the hearts and minds of the people”, said Yudhoyono recently in Jakarta.

Armed forces chief General Endriartono Sutarto is of the opinion that in fact 30 per cent of the Acehnese people is extremely good for a military emergency which has only been implemented for six months. According to Sutarto it is not easy to obtain the full sympathy of the people. Because in order to obtain the support of society for the military operation this does not only depend on the military operation alone, but also on other operations. “So indeed is not easy”, said Sutarto.

As has been reported, not long ago the government extended the military emergency status in Aceh for six months. This decision obtained the support of the People’s Representative Assembly Commission I. However the assembly requested that the implementation of this extension be evaluated [read: Commission I agreed that the military operation in Aceh be extended.] (ULF/Miko Toro and Dwi Guntoro)

[Translated by James Balowski.]