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Wednesday, 12 January, 2005

The New York Times > International > International Special > Relief: Indonesia Puts Curbs on Relief in Rebel Areas

The New York Times > International > International Special > Relief: Indonesia Puts Curbs on Relief in Rebel Areas

The Indonesian military on Tuesday ordered restrictions on foreign aid workers, limiting their free operation to the two main cities hit by the tsunami in an effort to assert control over international relief operations here.

Outside those cities, Banda Aceh and neighboring Meulaboh, aid workers will need special permission to go into more remote areas where hundreds of thousands of people were uprooted by the disaster.

The general asserted that the new measures were needed to protect foreign aid workers from the separatist rebels that Indonesia has been fighting for 30 years. But rebels from the Free Aceh Movement, known by its acronym GAM, released a statement on Tuesday guaranteeing "the safety and free access to all parts of Aceh for international aid workers."

Many foreign aid agencies, including the World Food Program, are generally reluctant to work with military escorts because they fear that accepting the protection of soldiers from one side could drag them into the conflict. Only in "very rare circumstances" does the World Food Program accept military escorts, said Bettina Luescher, the spokeswoman for the program. She pointed to Darfur in Sudan, where a civil conflict rages but where the program's trucks are never accompanied by military personnel.
3 Comments Post a comment
Blogger someone else said :

Thanks for posting this in the blog. If it's not too much trouble, please post a link to articles in the future. For this one: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/12/international/worldspecial4/12indonesia.html

Thu Jan 13, 01:59:00 am IST  
Anonymous Anonymous said :

Is it just me? I am feeling somewhat surprised by the comments to be gone by the end of March, and the sooner the better. I think the idea could have been expressed more tactfully like: At the end of March we are going to reasses the situation. We are hoping that we will be able to take on the major reconstruction effort on our own behalf. The outpouring of aid has been a blessing for us. Due to political unstability in the Banda Achet area, relief workers must exercise caution and file travel plans for their own safety. Visas must be valid. Reconstruction efforts are ongoing and we need to coordinate our efforts with foreign nations. Then I try to put myself in their shoes. Some great catasrophe hit the US and all of a sudden there are so many foreigners on our door step. How would I feel? Still, I think the feeling could have been more diplomatically stated.

Fri Jan 14, 09:08:00 pm IST  
Blogger Air Mobile Ministries said :

AMM has a team in the northern region of Indonesia and can verify that they are having a hard time distributing the portable Vortex Voyager water purfication and filtration systems.

You can track our Tsunami work by going to our blog - www.ammindonesia.blogspot.com

We are still collecting donations to make a return trip with more Vortex Voyagers. If you are interested in donating go to www.airmobile.org.

Sat Jan 15, 06:54:00 pm IST