Wed, 12 Sep 2001


Abduction, again

Once again, we have to face the bitter fact that abduction is still on the rise, the latest case being the kidnapping of four ulemas and an official of the transportation office. This incident followed their meeting with President Megawati Soekarnoputri in Banda Aceh.

All the hostages have been released, but this has not eased public anxiety. Security personnel have always accused the separatist Free Aceh Movement (GAM) of being the perpetrator of the abductions, which the latter has always denied.

So who is responsible for the abductions? Besides God, only the perpetrator knows.

The situation in Aceh is like a tousled yarn. Anything could be done by any party for its own interest. Thus, it is important to unravel the tousled yarn to see clearly who the perpetrator is.

The government could start to meet its promises by constructing school buildings, hospitals, and other public facilities. If GAM is consistent with its statement, it will not destroy the buildings.

Abduction and murder are cruel. Failure to disclose their perpetrators will only make the situation worse, as both the government and GAM will continue trading accusations.

It seems that the government must bear responsibility in disclosing all criminal acts. Perpetrators of the killings and abductions are the enemy of both GAM and the government. Most importantly, GAM and security personnel should not fight each other.

Republika, Jakarta.