New security and politics chief prioritises terrorism, Aceh

Kompas – October 22, 2004
Security minister retired Admiral Widodo Adi Sutjipto (Liputan 6)
Security minister retired Admiral Widodo Adi Sutjipto (Liputan 6)

Jakarta, Kompas – The new coordinating minister for politics, law and security, retired Admiral Widodo Adi Sutjipto, says that all of the ministries which are under his coordination will be prioritising efforts to resolve prolonged conflicts in Indonesia such as Aceh and West Papua. In addition to this they will increase coordination in an effort to safeguard the nation’s national resources and efforts in the war against terrorism.

“The issues which have to date been handled by Pak Hari Sabarno we will continue [working on] over the next period as part of this continuity. The other issue which will be of concern to us are efforts to safeguard the nation’s resources from illegal logging and fishing”, said Widodo following a hand over by interim coordinating minister for politics and security Hari Sabarno to the office of the ministry of politics, law and security in Jakarta on Thursday October 21.

Present during the hand over was home affairs minister M. Ma’ruf, defense minister Juwono Sudarsono, communications and information minister Sofyan Djalil, attorney general Abdul Rahman Saleh, armed forces chief General Endriartono Sutarto and national police chief Da’i Bachtiar. The hand over ceremony was followed by a braking of the fast.

In relation to efforts to coordinate the handling of and elimination of terrorism, Widodo raised a number of things which must be put into place first, a domestic agency which can control all of the necessary functions, an increase in the capabilities of intelligence personnel and a legal umbrella. These three issues will still need broad public support.

With regard to the last five months during which a state of civil emergency has been in force in Aceh, Widodo said that he had already received an evaluation report from Sabarno. “The state of civil emergency in Aceh will end on November 18, 2004. All of the departments in the ministry of politics and security have conducted an evaluation”, he said.

Widodo also raised a number of possible alternatives to Aceh’s status post the civil emergency. “It could just stay as a civil emergency, the civil emergency could also be narrowed or downgraded to a civil administration while continuing military operations in specific parts [of the province]”, said Widodo. (inu)

[Translated by James Balowski.]