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Aceh disarmament call goes unheeded

Jakarta Post - September 17, 2007

Jakarta – A call by Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam Governor Irwandi Yusuf for the Acehnese to surrender all of their illegal guns has so far gone unheeded, police say.

"The call was circulated across the province a week ago, but no one has come forward to surrender any weapons yet," Aceh Police chief Insp. Gen. Rismawan said as quoted by Antara in Banda Aceh on Saturday.

He said security agencies would take stern action against civilians who were found to be in illegal possession of guns or explosives.

Irwandi said earlier this month that civilians who kept illegal firearms without proper authorization would be given one month to turn over the weapons to local authorities.

"If after the one month deadline no illegal weapons have been turned in, the police will conduct raids to collect them and people found to be in illegal possession of weapons will face prosecution," Irwandi said, adding that under the Helsinki peace deal signed on Aug. 15, 2005, all illegal firearms and explosives of any kind in the province had to be destroyed.