Aceh's Peace Process Remains on Track, But Distrust Between the Indonesian Military and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) Remain

Following the successful, demilitarization, phase of the peace agreement in Aceh, the next steps, focused on political change and human rights issues, are far more challenging. Several challenges are surfacing, according to the International Crisis Group.

They include differences between Jakarta and Aceh over the concept of self-government (as expressed in a draft law on governing Aceh); the role of the Indonesian military; efforts to split the province into three entities (and thus undermining Acehnese self-determination); questions whether local political parties and independent candidates can run in upcoming Acehnese elections; revenue allocations to Aceh; the needs of GAM members trying to reintegrate into society (and the support that GAM members receive vis-à-vis assistance for victims of the conflict); the enforcement of human rights provisions; and the role of the European Union-led Aceh Monitoring Mission.

The ICG report concludes that strong leadership from the Indonesian President and Vice President is required, an that international donors will have to constantly assess the political impact of their assistance to prevent any backsliding in the peace process.

Related Links:

International Crisis Group, Aceh: Now for the Hard Part, Asia Briefing No. 48 (Jakarta and Brussels: 29 March 2006).