JAKARTA - An international think tank says Indonesia has no clear objectives and no exit strategy for the war it is waging in Aceh. The International Crisis Group (ICG) says the Indonesian Government's only criteria for "success" in Aceh seems to be body counts and control of territory. The report says the notion of special autonomy for Aceh has been completely undermined since President Megawati Sukarnoputri declared a six-month military emergency in May.
The think tank says Jakarta is alienating Acehnese through forced participation in mass loyalty oaths and forced displacement of villagers. The International Crisis Group says the independence movement, GAM, was responsible for burning some of the 500 schools that have been burnt since the military emergency began.
But it says most Acehnese who have spoken to the ICG expressed the view that government forces must have been complicit for so many schools to have been burnt so quickly. The report calls on the Indonesian Government to stop the offensive, formally end the military emergency and restore full civilian control over Aceh.