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Wednesday, 10 January, 2001, 15:17 GMT
New Aceh peace deal
Government troops
The troops have been accused of brutality
The Indonesian Government and separatist rebels from Aceh province have agreed effectively to extend their ceasefire - which ends on Monday - by one month.

The two sides agreed to a "moratorium on violence" during peace talks in Geneva on Tuesday.

But the killings continued in the resource rich province within hours of the deal being struck.

Aceh rebels
The rebels have waged a guerrilla war since the 1970s
Reports from Aceh say two soldiers and two rebels died in separate clashes.

During the ceasefire period, the two sides say they will seek long-term measures to end the bloodshed.

The rebels of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) say they are not giving up their armed struggle against Indonesia, but they have agreed to discuss establishing a legal political party.

The BBC correspondent in Jakarta says it remains to be seen whether any part of the agreement reched in Geneva will be implemented on the ground in Aceh.

Bloodshed

More talks are due in Switzerland at political and military levels between representatives of the government and GAM.

The negotiations could include discussions on withdrawing Indonesian troops and reducing the number of separatist fighters

Map
Tuesday's deal was seen a breakthrough in the conflict in the province, which has continued over two decades and left more than 5,000 people dead.

It will also be a boost for President Abdurrahman Wahid who has struggled to quell separatist tensions since taking power.

The government has placed pressure on the rebels in recent weeks, warning of a military crackdown if the peace talks failed. And on Tuesday, it announced the truce would not be extended.

Killings

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.

About 840 people were killed in total over 2000, according to local rights groups - more than double the total for 1999.

Many blame the military's brutal operations during the 1990s for boosting sympathy for GAM.

Human rights organisations say there is much evidence of atrocities committed by the army against ordinary civilians.

Jakarta's failure to ensure the province benefits from its natural wealth has also helped to fuel calls for independence.

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See also:

09 Jan 01 | Asia-Pacific
End to Aceh ceasefire
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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