Indonesia: July 31, 2003


The government says the Aceh fighting has left 583 rebels dead and 270 weapons seized. Another 1,301 rebels were captured or surrendered and 41 soldiers killed. Some of the dead rebels are believed to be civilians caught in the cross fire, as this has happened in the past. This larger number of dead rebels than captured weapons supports this (even though rebel units will withdraw with the weapons of their dead comrades). 

The brute force approach to the rebellion has also created at least 40,000 refugees and lots of angry people in Aceh. The government apparently doesn't care, as they feel attempts at negotiating with the rebels didn't work. One faction of rebels wanted independence or nothing, and thus they got an army invasion instead. Most likely, there will be another round of negotiations once the army is convinced that the rebel military organization is crushed. So far, no major rebel commanders have been captured or killed. The offensive, which began in May, came with a six month period of martial law. So the military phase of the operation could extend through November.


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