Aceh's peace signatories pass key test

Updated On: Oct 21, 2005

Banda Aceh - The first two phases of the Aceh peace process - seen as a cruical test of the key players' commitment to peace - has been completed, with both sides fulfilling their obligations, said the Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM). 

     "In our view, both sides have fulfilled their commitments to a successful peace process in Aceh because the second phase of decommissioning and the withdrawal of military and police personnel have proceeded smoothly," AMM chairman Pieter Feith told reporters on Oct 19. 
     Up to the second phase, he said, the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) had handed over 424 firearms or more than 50 per cent of its 840 firearms to AMM. 
      Mr Feith hopes that GAM would continue meeting its commitment to hand over its weapons in the next phases in terms of their quantity and quality. 
     "I believe neither GAM nor Indonesia will violate the MoU signed in Helsinki," he added. 
      For its part, the Indonesian military (TNI) has already withdrawn some 6,500 soldiers as required under the peace agreement. The latter was signed between GAM and the Indonesian government in Finland's capital Helsinki in August, ending more than 30 years of war. 
     Under the peace deal, TNI must pull out more than half of its 60,000 troops from the province by December, while GAM is required to surrender a total of 840 weapons.  
     GAM has dropped its demand for independence in return for a form of local self-government. The government has promised to withdraw its non-local security forces, offer amnesties to rebels and allow the creation of political parties in the province.
     The 200-strong Aceh Monitoring Mission is tasked with monitoring the demobilisation of 3,000 GAM military personnel, decommissioning of 840 GAM weapons, and observing the relocation of non-Acehnese military and police personnel. 
     The AMM comprises officials from the European Union and five Asean countries, BruneiMalaysia, the PhilippinesSingapore and Thailand.

* RI, GAM successful in implementing points in peace deal (Antara, Oct 20)

* TNI pulls out more troops from Aceh (The Jakarta Post, Oct 19)