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DATE=1/9/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=INDONESIA VIOLENCE (L-O) NUMBER=2-257911 BYLINE=RON CORBEN DATELINE=BANGKOK INTERNET=YES CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: In a reminder of the precarious security situation in Indonesia, two policemen were killed and two others injured in a weekend attack blamed on separatist rebels in Aceh province. Ron Corben reports from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok, analysts are fearful the violence in Aceh, together with mounting religious bloodshed in Maluku, the former Spice Islands, may spread. TEXT: A weekend attack on a police station in Indonesia's western Aceh province, left two officers dead, erasing hopes violence in the troubled region may have diminished as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan ended. The attack was reported to have been carried out by pro-independence rebels in Simpang Ulin in northern Aceh. The assault occurred as the Jakarta Government also grapples with increasing sectarian violence in the eastern Maluku Islands. But whereas the bloodshed in the Malukus has been between Muslim and Christian communities, the toll in Aceh has been directly linked to a decade old campaign for independence from Jakarta. Aceh has been witness to terrible atrocities, largely blamed on Indonesian security forces whose aim was to crush the separatist movement. The violence triggered reprisals against both security forces and Javanese relocated to Aceh as part of a campaign by the government of former President Suharto to ease population pressures on Java. Although resource rich, many Acehenese are also angered about the portion of the province's income that goes to the central government. But recently President Abdurrahmin Wahid and Vice President Megawati Sukarnoputri's main attention has been focussed on the rising terror of sectarian bloodshed in the Malukus, the former Spice Islands, 23-hundred-kilometers east of Jakarta. Jakarta was the center for massive rallies Friday as up to 100-thousand Indonesian Muslims called for a holy war against the Malukun Christian population. More than 750-people are reported to have been killed by violence in the Malukus during the past month. Vice President Megawati has denied accusations the government has failed to take action to halt the bloodshed. The Indonesian navy says it blockaded the Maluku Islands last week in a bid to halt the flow of weapons into the province, but critics claim the move came too late. Analysts, who had hoped for greater Indonesian stability following President Wahid's election last year, are warning the calls for a holy war could spread. But the military, already sanctioned for allegations of past human rights abuses is increasingly reluctant to take firmer action. Meanwhile, Arief Budiman of the University of Melbourne also warns elements within the military are prepared to allow the violence to continue. Mr. Budiman says those elements hope increasing civil unrest will strengthen their hand politically. (SIGNED) NEB/RC/RAE 09-Jan-2000 11:30 AM EDT (09-Jan-2000 1630 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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