JAKARTA - Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has warned that Australia could face an unstable region if the Indonesian province of Aceh becomes independent. There have been claims unarmed civilians and children have been killed in Aceh, as the Indonesian army cracks down on rebel fighters. Mr Downer says there is no reason for Australia to intervene.
He has told the ABC's Insiders program that the Federal Government does not want to see Indonesia slowly breaking up. "It would set in place a chain reaction," Mr Downer said. "I think you would have a disastrous security situation in South-East Asia and it would set people against people in the region, possibly having quite direct international implications.
"It might not directly involve Australians so much but it would end up with us having a fundamentally unstable region just to our north."