Geneva to host talks between Indonesia and Aceh rebels

The Indonesian ambassador, Hassan Wirajuda, (left) signs a ceasefire agreement with Aceh representative, Zaini Abdullah, in Geneva on May 12, 1999. Keystone / AP Photo / Courtesy Indonesian Mission / HO

Indonesian officials and leaders of the Free Aceh Movement are expected to arrive in the Swiss city of Geneva next week to try to negotiate an end to over two decades of violence, before a ceasefire expires later this month.

This content was published on January 2, 2001 - 13:13

At least 800 people have been killed during clashes between government forces and the rebels who are fighting for an independent homeland.

"Negotiations with the rebel leader Hasan Tiro, or his representative, will be continued on January 8 in Geneva," presidential spokesman Wimar Witoelar said.

"President Abdurrahman Wahid wants to open dialogue as much as possible with the Acehenese," he added.

Last month, the Indonesian government threatened a military crackdown if a new round of peace talks did not get underway in Geneva before the ceasefire expires on January 15.

Further, Witoelar cautioned that it was unlikely that Jakarta would extend the "humanitarian pause", which was negotiated in Geneva last year, after the deadline passes.

"There is a strong indication the government will not extend the ceasefire, however it will continue dialogue with the Aceh people," he said.

Hundreds of people have been killed in violent clashes in the province on the northern tip of Sumatra island despite the ceasefire.

President Wahid has ruled out independence for Aceh, offering instead special autonomy, due to be implemented in May, for the province's four million people.

swissinfo with agencies

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Sort by

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Almost finished... We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.

Discover our weekly must-reads for free!

Sign up to get our top stories straight into your mailbox.

The SBC Privacy Policy provides additional information on how your data is processed.