The large and lucrative ExxonMobil gas fields in Aceh have long been the target of accusations ranging from alleged complicity in murder to the import of non-Acehnese staff and the creation of a gated ghetto. Few observers deny the company has survived in Aceh by keeping close links to the Jakarta Government and its armed forces. It reportedly paid the salaries of the soldiers and police assigned to guard its property, and shared heavy equipment. Those links were not enough to save ExxonMobil staff and facilities from armed attacks that led to its temporary closure in March. Company officials now say they are repairing facilities and hope to resume normal operations soon. The problem for any large firm in charge of a wealth of resources - such as ExxonMobil - is that conflicts can be expected among local populations about the rightful ownership of these resources. Independence-minded Achenese have argued for decades that they should have a share of the riches. Thanks to former president Suharto's policy of designating Aceh a Special Military Operations Area for almost a decade, the military could act with impunity against Acehnese activists, torturing, killing and burying victims. The question is whether ExxonMobil helped overtly. 'Our partner is the Government of Indonesia and we don't get involved in internal politics in any of the 200 countries in which we operate,' a spokesman said. Any firm seeking to operate in such a political landscape finds itself hostage to which ever local force is strongest. Businessmen confirm a constant need to pay off local power-brokers. Knowing who to pay off, and how, remains a management challenge across Indonesia. 'ExxonMobil's less than arm's length detachment from the military must be judged a short-term gain and a long-term miscalculation,' Bloomberg commentator Patrick Smith wrote in March. Emmy Hafild, head of the Indonesian Forum on the Environment, said: 'They [Exxon] have not been good corporate citizens because they were so involved and so friendly with the military.'