May 31, 2003 |
The troops arrived before dawn, moving through the rice paddies and past the shrimp ponds of this quiet coastal village. The soldiers were hunting for rebels fighting for the independence of Aceh, Indonesia's westernmost province. What they found, villagers say, were seven boys and men whose job was to watch over the ponds. What happened next is not entirely clear, but within minutes all seven were dead.
March 9, 2005 |
The government announced Tuesday that it was "reviewing the presence of all humanitarian organizations" working on tsunami relief in Aceh province, raising fears that some foreign groups will be told to scale back operations or leave the area just as billions of dollars in reconstruction aid begins to roll in. Aid groups have been on edge, waiting to hear the Indonesian government's plans for the province after the state of emergency triggered by the tsunami formally ends March 26.
January 30, 2005
Indonesian government and rebel leaders from tsunami-devastated Aceh province broke off negotiations in Finland's capital, Helsinki, after failing to agree on a cease-fire in their 30-year conflict. Former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari urged both sides to quickly resume talks. The government and the Free Aceh Movement agreed to the negotiations after the Dec. 26 tsunami. Both sides pledged to freeze military operations to focus on helping tsunami victims.
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.