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Aceh leader asks troops to stay

The acting governor of Aceh has asked foreign troops and aid workers to stay and provide “long-term support” for victims of the tsunami despite growing pressure from the Indonesian Government for all foreign troops to leave by the end of March. The vice-governor of the province, Azwar Abu Bakar, said he was “frightened of being abandoned in less than a month facing such a big disaster” and wanted foreign military and aid groups to remain until the emergency had passed. “I really need long-term support from these organisations,” he said yesterday. His remarks are strongly at odds with those of Indonesia’s Vice-President, Jusuf Kalla, who said on Wednesday that foreign forces should leave Indonesia by the end of March, three months after the tsunami struck and killed as many as 130,000 people in Aceh and made at least 300,000 homeless.Full Story

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