IPAC: The Story of an Armed Aceh Group

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Several different groups appear to be deliberately burnishing the image of a former rebel-turned-outlaw in Aceh to draw attention to his criticism of the provincial government, led by senior leaders of the Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka, GAM). The misguided support for Din Minimi, who has robbed, kidnapped and killed, encourages partisan violence, which is the last thing Aceh needs.

Din Minimi: The Strange Story of an Armed Group in Aceh, Indonesia, the latest report from the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict (IPAC), looks at the rise and likely fall of the outlaw who served as a combatant during the final years of GAM’s insurgency. He is being portrayed by various parties opposed to the current GAM-led government as a Robin Hood who abducts corruptors and drug dealers and uses the ransom money to assist orphans and widows neglected by the GAM leaders now in power. In the process, he has attracted the attention of all who would like to see Partai Aceh, the GAM-led political party, discredited – and they include political rivals, intelligence personnel and extremists.

“Din Minimi is a criminal, whose activities only underscore how much violence lurks below the surface in Aceh after the 2005 peace agreement,” says Sidney Jones, IPAC director. ”No matter how poorly Partai Aceh has governed, there is no excuse for turning an armed thug into a hero.”

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