The Aceh Stalemate
From Laksamana.Net (Jan 31):
Indonesia says it will continue military operations against separatist rebels in tsunami-devastated Aceh province until the two sides can agree to the terms of a peace deal.This bit seems important:
Talks between the government and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) ended inconclusively last week, but the two parties agreed to resume negotiations in February.
The main stumbling block is that GAM wants any truce to lead to a referendum on secession, whereas the government is only prepared to offer limited autonomy that will preserve Indonesian sovereignty.
Legislators on Monday said future talks between the government and GAM should be held in Aceh to avoid the making the conflict an international issue.
“Meetings outside the country will only increase the problem and internationalize the issue by inviting other teams to enter the problem," Theo Sambuaga, chairman of parliament’s Commission I on defense and foreign affairs, was quoted as saying by detikcom.
He said future talks should instead involve Muslim scholars and leading GAM members in Aceh. "Furthermore, GAM has many factions. This could be seen by the occurrence of the exchange of fire during the talks in Finland,” he added.