RealNews

Jakarta Wants to Tag Aceh Rebels as Terrorists

Such a move, following arson attacks on hundreds of schools and public buildings, could lead to greater use of force by army. Indonesia’s government is moving to label leaders of separatist group Free Aceh Movement (GAM) as ‘terrorists’, following arson attacks on nearly 200 schools and other public buildings in the region during the past three days. Officials attributed the fires, as well as bombings in the past two months in Medan, North Sumatra and at Jakarta’s international airport, to the separatists. Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda said during parliamentary meetings yesterday: ‘The government is considering categorising GAM representatives who are in exile in Sweden as terrorists. ‘They play commanding roles within GAM and are involved in terrorist acts in Indonesia.’ Officials say a number of GAM representatives in Aceh who have been arrested since last weekend could face terror charges as well as treason allegations. The detainees include GAM negotiators who were arrested shortly after President Megawati Sukarnoputri’s martial law declaration late on Sunday. Full Story

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