Aceh Reintegration Agency must improve performance and focus

Kompas – June 13, 2006
Usman Hamid from Indonesian Human Rights Watch (idntimes)
Usman Hamid from Indonesian Human Rights Watch (idntimes)

Jakarta – A number of non-government organisations from the Aceh Working Group (AWG) are urging the Aceh Rehabilitation Agency (BRA) to give greater focus to its task and initial role as mandated in Section 3.2 of the Helsinki Memorandum of Understanding on the stages of the reintegration process.

This statement was conveyed by Usman Hamid from Indonesian Human Rights Watch during an AWG press conference on Monday June 12. According to Hamid, the BRA has deviated from its main obligations related to the reintegration of former Free Aceh Movement (GAM) members and has instead pursued other issues that are not included in its tasks. Also present at the press conference was Amiruddin from Institute for Public Research and Advocacy (Elsam), Choirul Anam from the AWG and Rafendi Djamin from the Human Rights Working Group (HRWG).

In addition to this, BRA personal are also being asked to be independent, impartial and work fully within the framework of BRA. Not long ago, GAM declared that it was withdrawing from the BRA as a resulted of internal problems that have occurred within it. “We are concerned that problems will reemerge because of differences in internal perceptions. There is no longer any transparency in the management of reintegration funds of as much as 800 billion rupiah, who has used it, how much is left and what the responsibilities are”, said Hamid.

According to Hamid, the internal problems have been complicated by the existence of a division of the ministry for political, legal and human rights affairs that may people believe has dragged the BRA into the realm of politics so that it has had the impact of hindering its performance.

Hamid added that one of the triggers for these problems was when the BRA stopped focusing on the reintegration process of former GAM members and instead was forced to take an accommodative position towards other elements. As a result, the process became muddled up when other social groups that feel they were victims of human rights violations was asked to present proposals to receive compensation. As a consequence, as of April 40,000 proposals have been submitted to the BRA and only 700 of these have been declared suitable in administrative terms. (dwa)

[Translated by James Balowski.]