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Separatist conflict poses risk to relief effort in Aceh -CSM

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Rose Siding Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-11-05 09:33 AM
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Separatist conflict poses risk to relief effort in Aceh -CSM
Reports of sporadic clashes between the government and rebels have emerged from several parts of Aceh province in recent days, signaling an end to an unofficial cease-fire. The fighting and subsequent finger pointing have dampened - though not dashed - hopes among analysts that the international relief effort could assuage the 28-year-old conflict.

On Saturday, the Indonesian government blamed several attacks on humanitarian supply lines and called the actions "a means to attract international attention, and collect supplies for their own needs."

Representatives of Aceh's separatist government in exile in Sweden denied any GAM commanders had violated a cease-fire declared in the days after the tsunami. "It is propaganda by the Indonesian military to tarnish our name," says Malik Mahmud, prime minister of GAM's government.

"We don't know who started these incidents," says Salim Said, a military historian in Jakarta, "but I don't see any alternative but more conflict." Both GAM and the Indonesian military have a history of blaming each other for skirmishes.

An informative companion article...

From Sparta to Nicaragua, disasters alter political history

History suggests that South Asia's tsunami tragedy could engender regional political fallout.
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