Acehnese call on Aceh Monitoring Mission to disband militia

Source – September 24, 2005
Student Solidarity for the People rally (PRA)
Student Solidarity for the People rally (PRA)

Riswan, Banda Aceh – The Acehnese people are calling on the Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM) to disarm the militia in Aceh during the period of demilitarisation. If they are not disarmed and their organisations disbanded it could threaten the peace process in Aceh.

This was conveyed by the chairperson of Student Solidarity for the People (SMUR), Mahmudal, in the provincial capital of Banda Aceh on Friday September 23.

Mahmudal explained that the greatest threat to the peace process comes from two components, the Jakarta elite and the militia in Aceh such as the Anti-Separatist Front (FAS), the People’s Fortress to Fight Aceh Separatists (Berantas) and so on. If these threats are not dealt with during the period of demilitarisation it could have serious consequences for the continuation of the peace process in Aceh.

Several days ago, an academic from the Al-Muslim Campus in Bireun also expressed a similar view. The academic – who wished to remain anonymous – told that the militias that exist in Aceh represent a real threat to peace. If they are not handled correctly concerns about the failure of the Memorandum of Understanding will become a reality. “We must all hope that the AMM will not close its eyes to this problem”, said the academic.

[Translated by James Balowski.]