RealNews

Aceh Rebels Find an Unlikely Base: Sweden

As Indonesia battles a stubborn separatist insurgency in its Aceh province, the guerrillas are charting an independent state from an unlikely base — Sweden. At night, Bakhtiar Abdullah sorts mail at a post office in downtown Stockholm. During the day, he joins leaders of the Free Aceh Movement in planning rebel strategy. “As soon as the situation is reasonable, we take the first flight back,” said Abdullah, the spokesman for the rebel group. “If Aceh is independent tomorrow, then we leave tonight.” The rebel leadership, including founder Hasan di Tiro, arrived in Sweden as political refugees in the late 1970s. The Acehnese community in Stockholm has since grown to about 50. Another 250 live in neighboring Denmark and Norway. Most have become citizens of their host countries. Full Story

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