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DATE=12/8/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=INDONESIA / ACEH (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-256957 BYLINE=PATRICIA NUNAN DATELINE=JAKARTA CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid has warned the troubled northern province of Aceh that the government will not tolerate efforts to break free from Indonesia. As Patricia Nunan reports from Jakarta, it is the strongest statement that President has made about Aceh, where separatist rebels are pushing for full independence. TEXT: Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid says Aceh is part of the Indonesian domain -- and that any attempt to separate Aceh from the nation is an act that in his words "will not be tolerated." The President also says he has the support of the international community for his efforts to keep the province a part of Indonesia. The uncharacteristically strong statement from the Indonesian leader comes in response to demands by the Indonesian parliament for a tribunal to be formed to try those suspected of human rights abuses in Aceh. Parliament speaker Akbar Tanjung says the President should have "a sense of crisis" about the problems in Aceh and other provinces where separatist unrest is simmering. Mr. Tanjung is also calling for the president to take concrete measures -- among them the establishment of a human rights tribunal in Aceh -- to diffuse those situations. President Wahid said Wednesday he understands the reasons for the lawmakers' demand but added a resolution to the Aceh situation is not as easy as some people believe. When he took office in October, the president said that ending separatist unrest in Aceh would be at the top of his agenda. President Wahid earned criticism for a series of overseas trips he took in the six weeks he was been in office. But the President says the foreign trips are all part of his plan to resolve the Aceh problem. /// WAHID ACT /// I even go with the hat in my hand, to Kuwait, to everywhere -- to Malaysia, to the States, just to find a solution to Aceh -- in order to help them. So we have tried every possible means to find solution to the Acehnese problem. ///END ACT /// Analysts say that forming a human rights tribunal for Aceh would help the government win credibility among the Acehnese people. There is widespread mistrust of the central government in Aceh because of the estimated two thousand people that human rights groups say have died or disappeared at the hands of Indonesian soldiers. The Armed Forces undertook a mission to crush Aceh's guerrilla separatist movement in 1989. But analysts say the alleged abuses by the military have actually fueled demands for Aceh's independence. Separatists also want Aceh to break free of Indonesia because of what they consider to be the exploitation of the province's oil and natural gas deposits by the central government. Aceh's local officials, like provincial leaders elsewhere in Indonesia, complain that little of the revenue generated at home is being returned to their provinces. The Indonesian President has also so far refused to allow an independence referendum to be held in Aceh, as many Acehnese have demanded. (signed) NEB/PN/FC 08-Dec-1999 06:06 AM EDT (08-Dec-1999 1106 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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