RealNews

Keep amnesty pledge, Aceh rebels demand

Three months after he rode to power atop a wave of public adulation, one of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s most contentious campaign promises has not been forgotten: an offer of full amnesty to members of GAM, the separatist Free Aceh Movement, which has fought Jakarta’s military to a standstill since 1976.”The government has failed to live up to many promises to the Acehnese people over the years, but this is not the kind of thing we forget,” respected Acehnese human-rights lawyer Saifuddin Bantasyam said yesterday. “It means an amnesty for both the rebels and for the soldiers, because it must be extended to both sides. It will take great sacrifice on both sides, but it is an essential step to end the suffering and war.”Full Story

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