TNI chief worried one of GAM’s factions will disrupt peace deal

Source – September 8, 2005
TNI chief General Endriartono Sutarto (Suara Nasional)
TNI chief General Endriartono Sutarto (Suara Nasional)

Muhammad Nur Hayid, Jakarta – The Free Aceh Movement (GAM) is apparently made up of many factions. If one of these factions disagrees with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Indonesian government and GAM there is concern that it will become an obstacle to the creation of peace in Aceh.

The concern was conveyed by TNI (armed forces) chief General Endriartono Sutarto at a working meeting with the House of Representative’s Commission I at the national parliament on Jalan Gatot Subroto in Central Jakarta on Thursday September 8.

“GAM is not a single faction. So it could be that one of the factions is inconsistent with regard to the MoU”, said Tarto, Sutarto’s familiar name.

According to Tarto, the TNI will experience obstacles as a result of the many factions GAM has and will endeavour to ensure that it is not a trigger for the failure of the MoU. Tarto is asking all of his officers to comply with the MoU. “If supposing it fails, it will not come from the TNI’s side”, he asserted.

He is optimistic that the 14,700 organic TNI personnel that will be deployed in Aceh will be able to safeguard and protect the Acehnese people. “With this number it is enough to ensure that Aceh does not succeed from NKRI [the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia]”, he explained.

Tarto also admitted that they had already prepared a plan to anticipate the MoU failing. Unfortunately however, he did not provide details of the plan.


With regard to the TNI’s allocation of 17.8 trillion rupiah from the proposed 2006 state budget, Tarto provided a spending breakdown before the commission. “The TNI will use it to purchase aircraft totaling 9.4 trillion, goods and services 4.66 trillion along with capital purchases of 3.74 trillion”, explained Tarto.

The working meeting was chaired by the head of Commission I Theo L Sambuaga and attended by army chief General Djoko Santoso, airforce chief Rear Marshal Djoko Suyanto and navy chief Rear Admiral Slamet Soebijanto. (ary)

[Translated by James Balowski.]