News

    Indonesian Military Makes Conflicting Statements on Rebels in Tsunami-Ravaged Aceh

    Scott Bobb

    The Indonesian military is issuing conflicting statements about a truce in the tsunami-ravaged separatist province of Aceh, although the government says it is ready for peace talks. Meanwhile, four weeks after the disaster, officials and relief agencies say the emergency phase of the relief effort in Aceh is winding down.

    The head of the Indonesian armed forces, Edriartono Sutarto Sunday said his forces would no longer conduct offensives against rebels of the Free Aceh Movement in order to encourage peace negotiations.

    The government's chief relief coordinator in Aceh, Welfare Minister Alwi Shihab, added that Jakarta will consider any proposal except independence for the Province.

    "Aceh needs reconciliation. Aceh has suffered a lot. And this is the time that all of us, Indonesian as well as global community, to try our utmost to get back Aceh," he said.

    Both the rebels and the government declared unofficial cease-fires after the earthquake and tsunami devastated coastal areas of the province on December 26. But the head of the Indonesian Army, Riyamizard Riyacudo, was quoted by the official Anatolia news agency as saying his troops killed more than 200 rebels since the tsunami.

    Meanwhile, four weeks after the disaster, officials and relief agencies say the emergency phase of the relief effort in Aceh is winding down.

    Langdon Grenhalgh, with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, says relief supplies are reaching most victims although small pockets of communities still have not received any aid yet.

    "Those are areas that we are trying to target, that we trying to get to as rapidly as possible. We are mobilizing support that's necessary to serve them. It's simply a question of access," said Langdon Grenhalgh.

    He characterized these small communities as numbering hundreds of people.

    Airlifts and ship-to-shore deliveries by troops from Indonesia and several foreign nations had averted a disaster in many isolated areas, but these are being scaled back as aid deliveries by non-governmental agencies are accelerating.

    The World Food Program says a ship carrying 6,000 tons of food reached the hard-hit western coast Sunday and would begin distributing supplies by landing craft. Other agencies were chartering boats to deliver supplies along the coast.

    Despite the progress, the task of rehabilitation remains daunting. By Sunday main roads in most urban areas had been cleared of rubble, and some residents had cleared their yards and houses. But many homes are empty and many shops are still closed.

    Volunteers continue to recover hundreds of bodies a day from the mud and debris left by the tsunami. And officials continued to revise upwards their casualty estimate, which now has surpassed 170,000 for Aceh alone.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora