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The BBC's Richard Galpin
"The timing of this announcement has come as a surprise."
 real 28k

Tuesday, 9 January, 2001, 12:53 GMT
End to Aceh ceasefire
Indonesian soldiers in Aceh
Military operations led to increased bloodshed
Indonesia has ruled out extending a ceasefire with separatist rebels in Aceh province that expires on Monday.


The government in principle will give anything ... except independence

Defence Minister Muhammad Mahfud
Defence Minister Muhammad Mahfud also warned that police would soon begin arresting those carrying guns or involved in clashes.

"The humanitarian pause [ceasefire] will not be extended," Mr Mahfud said after a meeting with President Abdurrahman Wahid in Jakarta.

"That is certain because we have had negotiations twice, but there has been no result at all."

His comments came as the government and rebels entered a second day of talks on how to end the violence that has left thousands dead over the last two and a half decades.

Map
There are fears that the end of the seven-month ceasefire on 15 January could see the start of a new military crackdown in the resource rich province.

Many blame the military's brutal operations during the 1990s for boosting sympathy for the separatist Free Aceh Movement.

Little hope

The latest round of negotiations in Switzerland is being described as make or break. But both sides have publicly given little hope of progress.

Mr Mahfud has repeatedly advocated a tough approach towards separatists both in Aceh and in Irian Jaya at the other end of the archipelago.

He said the government would continue negotiations, but with Acehnese society as a whole and not just the rebels.

"The government in principle will give anything and consider anything for the people of Aceh except independence and a referendum. This cannot be done," he added.

The current ceasefire has done little to stem the violence. It is estimated more than 500 people have been killed since it was introduced on 2 June.

The majority of victims have been civilians and separatist guerrillas.

Calls for independence have been fuelled by Jakarta's failure to ensure the province benefits from its natural wealth and by the harsh military repression.

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See also:

19 Dec 00 | Asia-Pacific
Wahid spurned in Aceh
19 Dec 00 | Asia-Pacific
Murder and rape in Aceh
14 Nov 00 | Asia-Pacific
Aceh calls for 'Timor-style' vote
10 Nov 00 | Asia-Pacific
Violence feared at Aceh rally
25 Nov 99 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Indonesia needs Aceh
13 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Analysis: Indonesia's fragile archipelago
05 Oct 00 | Asia-Pacific
Aceh rebels fingered over Jakarta blasts
25 Sep 00 | Asia-Pacific
Aceh truce extended
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