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ASEAN to Curb Gunrunning to Aceh

The Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) member countries are shortly expected to demonstrate their support for Indonesia’s national integrity amid the independence struggle being waged by the Free Aceh Movement (GAM). In a draft joint communique from the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM) obtained by The Jakarta Post on Sunday, the 10 member countries of ASEAN stressed their recognition of Aceh as an integral part of Indonesia. According to article 22 of the draft, the ASEAN countries pledge their support to the effort to deny the separatist movement access to the means of perpetrating violence, especially through preventing arms smuggling into Aceh province. In the draft, ASEAN also reiterates its recognition of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity of Indonesia, including Aceh, which is currently under martial law. It adds that the ASEAN countries recognize the efforts of the Indonesian government to restore peace and order in Aceh. Indonesia has been struggling to restrict GAM’s access to the outside world, including preventing it from obtaining arms and its members from seeking political asylum, during the current massive military offensive in the province. Full Story

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