Stop all military operations in Aceh!
The President of the Republic of Indonesia
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President of the Republic of Indonesia
Dr H. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono
Republic of Indonesia
We are saddened by the tremendous loss of lives in Aceh caused by the earthquake and tsunami. We are glad that your Government has taken three important steps to address this crisis: called for a temporary ceasefire in Nanggro Aceh Darussalam Province, declared the situation in Aceh a national disaster, and lifted the embargo against international aid going into Aceh.
However, we are concerned that even as you urge members of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) to lay down their arms in a ceasefire and join efforts to rebuild Aceh, Indonesian armed forces are engaged in military operations against alleged separatists, even when unarmed, as you have asked them to be. This news has been widely reported by the international media, including Agence France-Presse, The Times (London), The Washington Times, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, and the Jakarta Post.
According to field reports received, in the Peureulak area, Indonesian armed forces are continuing military operations at Teupin Batee, Seunebok Langa, Gampung Jalan, Kuburan Cina, Buket Linteung, Buket Jok, all in the Idie area of East Aceh. Hundreds of Indonesian troops are also said to be conducting military operations in three subdistricts in North Aceh V Makmur, Gandapura and Peusangan.
Instead of helping the people, these troops are intimidating villagers. Kidnappings took place a day after the earthquake. Troops scared villagers by telling them that another quake was about to happen and then looted their homes after villagers ran away. Such incidents occurred at Asawi Plee, Simpang Lee Meureboh, Cot Baloi, Simpang Rame, Seunebok Bukit Sudan, Kubu Raya, Aleu Kruep, Rambung Payung, Mambree, Alue Jet, Sarah Kubu, Blang Dalam, Damakawan, Cot Tubee, Samuti, Leubue Cot Kruet, Cot Mirah Pati, Paleh Peuradi, and Urong Kumbang.
We urgently call on the Indonesian government to respect the ceasefire that you have declared yourself. Please ensure that the Indonesian armed forces stop their military operations, intimidation, corruption and pillaging in Aceh at this time of suffering. Please prioritise the saving of lives in Aceh above political and vested interests. The people of Aceh are citizens of Indonesia and have every right to the protection of the state. Tens of thousands have died in Aceh as a result of the earthquake and the tsunami. Please do not add to this death toll. Please do not inflict yet more suffering on the people of Aceh!