Fri, May 23, 2003 - Page 9 News List

Things get ugly as Jakarta sends in the troops

It started with rebels torching schools and some high-profile army movement, but it's likely to get very bloody

By John Aglionby  /  THE GUARDIAN , JEUMPA, ACEH PROVINCE, INDONESIA

June to July 2001: Military offensive launched

August to Sept 2001: The new president of Indonesia, Megawati Sukarnoputri, apologizes for past abuses and visits Aceh but talks end fruitlessly

Last year: Crisis eases during talks in Switzerland brokered by Henry Dunant Centre. Both sides agree to seek ``interim solutions'' and draw up elections timetable

December last year: Ceasefire agreement reached, call for dialogue based on special autonomy law, to lead to democracy, with international monitors. Conference on peace and reconstruction held in Tokyo with the US, Japan, EU and World Bank. More than US$8 million pledged for monitoring mission

April 9, this year: Indonesia says it was ``snubbed'' by GAM, threatens to resume full combat operations

May 12: Indonesia withdraws from ceasefire; army claims it can defeat GAM in six months

May 18: Peace talks in Tokyo collapse after GAM refuses to accept Jakarta's demands to disarm, accept autonomy and renounce independence. Sukarnoputri declares martial law as more than 40,000 troops prepare to battle up to 5,000 GAM fighters

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