Indonesia's upheavals since president Suharto was toppled in 1998 have been far-reaching, but not in the farthest corners of the archipelago. In the oil-rich and now supposedly semi-autonomous province of Aceh, the military continues to kill and torture civilians at an alarming rate. President Megawati Sukarnoputri has her hands full with pushing reforms at all levels of society. Corrupt officialdom and an embattled economy that continues to sink Indonesians below the poverty line are taking up the Government's time. That should be no excuse to allow abuses of human rights to take place in Aceh. Peace talks are taking place in Geneva, but criticism is being ignored and the military continued its decades-long suppression of the Free Aceh separatist movement and the Acehnese people. Indonesia has been willing to grant concessions and even independence to other regions, but Aceh is seen differently. The province has been part of the nation since its fighters helped win independence from the Netherlands in 1945, unlike then Portuguese-ruled East Timor and Dutch-controlled Irian Jaya. Aceh's people are predominantly Muslim, whereas those of the latter are Christian. The valuable natural resources have also made Indonesia richer and although this should have changed after January 1 under the deal on self-rule, it has yet to be felt on the ground. Ms Megawati must order the military to pull back and stop its brutal actions, which have claimed the lives of hundreds of people so far this year. Decades of mistrust among Acehnese towards Jakarta will not disappear overnight, but a gesture to withdraw troops will go a long way towards ensuring the Geneva talks are held in a more conducive atmosphere so that a ceasefire and final peace agreement can be achieved.