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INVESTIGATION LAUNCHED INTO HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES

The Indonesian government has ordered an investigation into reports of human rights abuses by the Indonesian military (TNI) in Aceh. Co-ordinating minister for political and security affairs Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono says the TNI team heading up the investigation has not yet reported to him. He says the report will be as objective and fair as possible with all sources of information to be listed. He warned the team not to be too quick to accept foreign news without first substantiating the reports.

MINISTER VISITS ACEH REFUGEES

Refugees from the Aceh regency of Arongan who fled their homes 9 days ago have been visited by the minister for social affairs Bachtiar Hamsyah, who delivered humanitarian aid. The minister promised that refugees wanting to return home could do so as the TNI would guarantee their safety. HE says the TNI is committed to building a security post in Arongan in order to improve security. Mr Hamsyah also delivered instant noodles, sarongs and rice to the refugees, as well as donating five million Rupiah ($A922) for the construction of a mosque.

POLICE ARREST ACEH REBEL SUSPECTS

The Banda Aceh Police Chief Superintendent has thanked local communities for giving information to police which has helped them arrest 14 alleged members of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM). Superintendent Alfons said communities were becoming more

prepared to name those who were attempting to divide the community. Meanwhile a convoy of supply trucks is set to travel from Medan in North Sumartra to Aceh with a military escort amidst concerns over the safety of the truck drivers and their supplies. Drivers have admitted they are concerned about their safety on the roads leading into the province. The government has also announced it will upgrade facilities at seven hospitals and provide 20 additional ambulances as part of humanitarian operations in Aceh. The government says it’s also planning to increase the number of specialist doctors.

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