Banda Aceh – The Acehnese People’s Party (PRA), the first local political party to be established in Aceh, is appealing to the public to remain calm and not be provoked by the by the recent string of grenade and bomb attacks on the homes of Free Aceh Movement (GAM) leaders and regional government officials in Aceh.
“[We are] appealing to all the Acehnese people not to be provoked by issues that could damage the peaceful atmosphere that has been built”, said PRA general secretary Thamrin Ananda when speaking with Aceh Kita on Saturday May 5.
Over the last few months, grenade and bomb attacks have been becoming more widespread in Aceh. The most recent case was a bomb being place at the official residence of the speaker of the Pidie Regional House of Representatives. Prior to this, there was a series of bomb and grenade attacks against the home of Aceh Transitional Committee (KPA) spokesperson Sofyan Dawood. The residence of the Lhokseumawe deputy mayor has also become a target for terrorists.
So far police have been unable to uncover the perpetrators or the motives for these attacks and the KPA itself is assisting the police in its investigations. Ibrahim bin Syamsuddin, who replaced Dawood as the KPA’s spokesperson, has promised to form a team to investigate the attacks. He is certain that the perpetrators do not come from the KPA. He feels that this needs to be clarified because there has been rumors that the perpetrators are ex-GAM combatants that are disappointed with their former leaders.
The PRA believes that the series of attacks are because of the lack of employment opportunities in Aceh. Because of this therefore, the PRA is urging the Acehnese government to created job opportunities for the Acehnese people in order to reduce poverty levels. “Poverty has been the main factor in this outbreak of new conflicts that have been marked by terrorist bombs and armed robberies”, said Ananda. [dzie]