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Spokesman: Indonesia tells ICRC to stop operation
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16:59, April 24, 2009

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The Indonesian government told the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), a foreign non governmental organization, to halt its operation in the country because the body did not commit to the previous agreement any more, an official said on Friday.

"We did not send the organization away as media reported recently. We only tell them to halt operation until we sit together to discuss their commitment," said Teuku Faizasyah, the Foreign Ministry's spokesman, here.

Faizasyah said the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Indonesian government and the ICRC says that the organization conducts various efforts only related to political prisoners in the country. However, he said, Indonesia has no political prisoners anymore, so the ICRC changed its operation to humanitarian aids.

"Still, the NGO should negotiate the change with the Indonesian government. We have been telling them about it since 2004 so we can discuss it. But, it seems that the organization was too late to respond. We sent the last notification in March, still it did not respond it," said Faizasyah.

He said that Indonesia felt that the organization's stance was a kind of ignorance.

Faizasyah said ICRC also violated rules by establishing branch offices, in Aceh and Papua province among others. "Our MoU does not say anything about establishing branch office," he said.

ICRC is an independent and neutral organization whose focuses are to help ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of war and other situations of violence.


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