November 10, 1999 |
Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid said he is willing to allow a referendum on independence in oil-rich Aceh province in northern Sumatra. He added, however, that he is confident its people would decide to remain part of Indonesia. "If we can hold a referendum in East Timor, why not in Aceh?" Wahid said in Manila during his first trip abroad since his Oct. 20 election. On Monday, at least 500,000 people swept into Banda Aceh, the provincial capital, to demand the right to a referendum.
December 20, 2001 |
An Indonesian air force transport plane was in flames after being hit by ground fire today as it was landing at an airport in separatist-racked Aceh province, a military spokesman said. The Hercules C-130 was burning on the runway, Maj. Zainal Mataquin said. The number on board was not immediately clear, and it wasn't known right away if anyone was killed. The aircraft was landing at Lhokseumawe, a town in northeastern Aceh that is the center of the province's natural gas industry.
February 23, 2005 |
Separatists in Aceh province are ready to drop their 30-year struggle for independence from Indonesia in return for some degree of self-rule, a spokesman said. The Free Aceh Movement and the government are holding peace talks in Helsinki, Finland. Self-government "is the main thing on the table," rebel spokesman Bakhtiar Abdullah said.
July 18, 2005 |
Indonesia's vice president said parliament would have to change the law to allow rebels in Aceh province to form their own political party -- a key part of a peace deal negotiated over the weekend. The government and rebels announced Sunday that they would sign a formal pact Aug. 15 to end the province's 29-year insurgency, but Jusuf Kalla's remarks indicated that the political-party issue remained a potential stumbling block.
January 31, 2005 |
Indonesia's military said it had killed four rebels during a clash in Aceh province, where a massive aid effort for tsunami victims was underway. Rebels were not immediately available for comment, but the military said the clash happened in Madat, on the eastern side of the province, two miles from the coast. The two sides cut short peace talks in Finland on Saturday without a breakthrough to end the 30-year conflict in the separatist region.
January 28, 2005 |
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono offered rebels in tsunami-hit Aceh province autonomy and an amnesty in exchange for a cease-fire. The rebels have long demanded full independence. The warring sides were expected to start talks in Helsinki, Finland, probably today, to try to reach a formal cease-fire.