Friction Over Resources Rises in Aceh

Provincial management of natural resources and lack of transparency in assistance to conflict victims are causing disputes between Acehnese and central government leaders.

Acehnese leaders, including provincial council speaker Sayed Fuad Zakaria, charge that the central government in Jakarta is reluctant to allow the provincial government to manage natural resources as envisioned in the peace agreement.

Also, representatives of GAM and of several Acehnese NGOs had withdrawn their support from the Aceh Reintegration Body (BRA), complaining of a lack of transparency and an overly bureaucratic approach. The entity is tasked with distributing 800 billion Rupiah (about $88 million) in aid to victims of the conflict. BRA has received 40,000 proposals for specific projects, but is seriously considering just 700 of them.

Tony Hotland and Nani Afrida, “Let Us Manage Aceh’s Natural Resources, Say Local Leaders,” The Jakarta Post, 15 June 2006.