Why Aceh Peace Efforts Have Been Successful
The head of the Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM), Pieter Feith, summarizes why AMM has been successful and distills key lessons learned:
- No other peace mission was ever deployed more quickly. The parties to the conflict asked the countries contributing personnel to AMM to be present from the day the peace agreement was signed, avoiding a potential vacuum and instability.
- Close to 1,800 GAM prisoners were released by the government, and the remaining few amnesty cases will be resolved soon.
- Even though the peace agreement’s timeline for a new Aceh governing law proved unrealistic, it “is better to have a good law than to rush.” The drafting process has been very inclusive and transparent.
- AMM has broad backing of the international community; “there is simply more weight behind this mission” compared with earlier, failed peace efforts.
- AMM is an expression of the European Union’s commitment to peace and stability not just in Aceh, but in the broader region. Following EU peace efforts in the former Yugoslavia, Caucasus, and the Congo, the European governments are intent on avoiding failure in Aceh. The EU has financially supported the peace negotiations, reintegration of GAM combatants, as well as police training and local capacity-building.
- AMM teams integrate personnel from the EU and the Association of South-East Asian Nations; EU-ASEAN cooperation has been excellent.
Pieter Feith, “The Aceh Monitoring Mission Experience,” Paper presented at Seminar “Beyond the Tsunami from Recovery to Peace,” Jakarta, 3 May 2006.