Viewing cable 06JAKARTA7207
Title: USAID Mission Director Meets GAM Leader 5/23

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06JAKARTA72072006-06-07 07:17:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Jakarta
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SUBJECT: USAID Mission Director Meets GAM Leader 5/23 
 
 
JAKARTA 00007207  001.2 OF 003 
 
 
Reftels:  (A) 06 Jakarta 006497 
          (B) 06 Jakarta 005858 
          (C) 05 Jakarta 016687 
          (D) 05 Jakarta 010056 
 
¶1. (SBU) Summary. Embassy USAID Mission Director William 
Frej met Free Aceh Movement (GAM) "Prime Minister" Malik 
Mahmoud May 23 in Banda Aceh.  Mahmoud expressed optimism 
about the possibility of long lasting peace in Aceh, but 
noted a recent rise in crime as well as rumors of 
unauthorized increases in the levels of TNI and police.  He 
said the continued existence of anti-separatist groups 
threatens peace prospects, and that GAM will not participate 
on the Aceh Reintegration Agency's (BRA) board with 
representatives of these groups.  He said BRA's funding 
process is unclear to many ex-combatants.  He called on the 
Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM) to stay in Aceh after 
gubernatorial elections.  He said the Indonesian 
Parliament's (DPR) passage of the Law on Governing Aceh 
(LoGA) would constitute a new foundation for governance, but 
expressed concern over lack of transparency in 
deliberations.  He criticized hard line implementation of 
syariah.  He said the USG should press Jakarta for proper 
implementation of the peace MOU and provide housing or jobs 
for ex-combatants.  End summary. 
 
Acehnese Optimistic About Peace Prospects 
----------------------------------------- 
 
¶2. (SBU) Mahmoud told Frej that the December 26 2004 tsunami 
was "a blessing in disguise" which increased the willingness 
of GOI and GAM to begin discussions on peace which led to 
signing of the MOU August 15 in Helsinki.  He said the 
Acehnese people are optimistic that MOU implementation will 
bring about lasting peace. 
 
¶3. (SBU) Mahmoud said the arms surrender by GAM ex- 
combatants and withdrawal of non-organic police and TNI had 
gone smoothly.  Nevertheless, he noted recurrent rumors GOI 
has sent in additional police and TNI on an unofficial 
basis.  GAM believes the total number of TNI in Aceh may 
already exceed MOU limits.  Mahmoud said rising crime and 
violence pose the perfect pretext for GOI to send in more 
military and police. 
 
¶4. (SBU) Mahmoud said continued existence of anti-separatist 
groups could threaten MOU implementation.  He said AMM has 
little authority to deal with them.  Authority rests with 
the GOI, he said, especially the police and TNI. 
 
 
JAKARTA 00007207  002.2 OF 003 
 
 
AMM Should Stay After Elections 
------------------------------- 
 
¶5. (SBU) Mahmoud believes AMM needs to remain in place after 
enactment of LoGA and gubernatorial elections.  It should 
stay on to monitor implementation of the MOU as well as 
establishment of a human rights court and a truth and 
reconciliation commission.  The LoGA represents the 
foundation for Acehnese self government.  It is so essential 
that GAM is willing to sacrifice 30 years of fighting to 
ensure GOI passes it into law, he said.  Nevertheless, GAM 
is concerned DPR LoGA deliberations are not taking place in 
a transparent fashion. 
 
¶6. (SBU) Mahmoud has noticed increased activity by Islamic 
hardliners in several areas of Aceh.  GAM, he said, has 
expressed its opposition to such movements.  They espouse an 
ideology different from GAM's and offer Aceh no political 
benefits, he said.  Current implementation of syariah is 
both funny and embarrassing, he said.  Once LoGA is passed, 
Acehnese leaders will determine how to implement Islamic law 
in a way consistent with Acehnese culture and ideology, he 
said. 
 
Concerns Over The Reintegration Process 
--------------------------------------- 
 
¶7.  (SBU) The reintegration program under BRA leadership has 
had little impact, he said.  GAM ex-combatants return home 
to face harsh economic realities with little income.  High 
unemployment rates could threaten peace. 
 
¶8. (SBU) BRA had announced that ex-combatants would receive 
a payment of Rp. 25 million (about USD 2,300), he pointed 
out.  Since BRA leaders have not clearly explained the 
process of applying for and receiving this payment, some ex- 
combatants believe GAM leadership has gotten hold of the 
money and is using it for its own purposes, Mahmoud said. 
GAM members believe these rumors stem from an external 
effort to divide GAM hierarchy and structure. 
 
¶9. (SBU) GAM representatives have said they would not 
participate in BRA if anti-separatist group representatives 
remain on the board, he said.  GAM will continue to rely on 
the USAID-initiated multi-stakeholder Aceh Joint Forum To 
Support Peace. 
 
BRR Is Moving Slowly 
-------------------- 
 
 
JAKARTA 00007207  003.2 OF 003 
 
 
¶10. (SBU) Mahmoud said the GOI Aceh-Nias Reconstruction and 
Rehabilitation Agency (BRR) has moved slowly in responding 
to post-tsunami needs.  People still live in barracks and in 
improperly-built houses while BRR officials are, in 
Mahmoud's view, highly paid.  He said BRR has done little to 
stop the exploitation of natural resources, including 
illegal logging. 
 
Mahmoud Urges USG To Pressure Jakarta 
------------------------------------- 
 
¶11.  (SBU) Mahmoud called on the USG to pressure Jakarta as 
part of an international effort to ensure proper 
implementation of the MOU.  He said the USG should help 
minimize potential threats to peace by providing homes or 
jobs.  GAM is willing to cooperate with the USG in these 
areas by, for example, offering land for housing.  Pascoe