Indonesia: May 19, 2003


The army and air force went after rebel bases. Warplanes were seen firing rockets in hill country. Paratroopers were delivered by parachute and marines were seen moving towards rebel controlled areas. Some 10,000 people have died in rebel related violence since 1976. The current campaign will probably cause a lot of deaths. The armed forces have always acted in a brutal fashion in situations like this. And there is a lot of popular support for the separatist rebels in Aceh. But the province contains bullions of dollars worth of oil and gas and the government does not want to give this up. 


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