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Peace Agreement is Now on the Talk
1. Bakhtiar Abdullah; 2. FPDRA
Dear Mr. Thamren Ananda,
hank you for your detailed proposals on how the leadership of the governments of the State of Acheh and of the Republic of Indonesia should behave post the tsunami disaster. On our part, we always welcome such inputs from Achenese NGOs, large or small alike, as they represent sections of the Achenese people whose voice must be heard. Our struggle is for nothing if we were to set aside the voice of the people, no matter how faint it might be. Rest assure, Mr. Thamren Ananda, despite your often sharp criticisms of our Movement, we always hear you with the degree of respect that you deserve.
We thank you again for your proposals and we assure you we are very attentive to all inputs from Achenese NGOs including yours,
Bakhtiar Abdullah, Spokesman, ASNLF, Stockholm 17, January 2005. For more infomation on this report, please contact Ministry of Information; P.O.BOX 130, S-145 01 NORSBORG, SWEDEN; TEL : +46 8 531 83833 FAX: +46 8 531 91275.
FPDRA welcomes government's offer for peace agreement
he desire by the government of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to create an opportunity for a peace agreement and end the armed conflict with the Free Acheh Movement (GAM) should be welcomed all elements of society. This positive signal should also be welcomed by GAM
In a situation in Acheh post the tsunami disaster the offer made by the president it very timely although in truth late if compared with the offer made by the Sri Lankan government to the Tamil Tiger rebels. The offer does however provide a positive signal for improvements in the channeling of humanitarian aid as well as its efforts to rebuild Acheh.
In this regard we are of the view that neither the government or GAM should assert political preconditions on the peace agreement but instead focus on the facilitation of humanitarian aid, recovery and rebuilding Acheh. This is order that the agreement is not overshadowed beforehand by the political obsessions of the two parties - either GAM's obsession with independence or the government's obsession with special autonomy. With regard to aid, the two parties must therefore agree to a cease-fire for an unlimited period of time. A precondition for such a cease-fire to occur and to facilitate the flow of domestic and international aid is to halt all military operation in Acheh (regardless of its form and status).
Historically, peace agreements have invariably failed mid-way because there has been no involvement of other forces outside of the government and GAM. In a future agreement it is absolutely imperative that the government involve all existing political spectrums including students, political organisations, civil society, religious leaders and other public figures. As well as the involvement of these elements, international involvement is also needed in the form of the United Nations. The involvement of the UN is extremely beneficial and necessary in all peace negotiations, especially under the present conditions in Acheh. This can be seen from past negotiations which failed because there was no neutral foreign party which had the authority to act against the parties which violated the agreement. This is even more so in view of the post disaster situation in Acheh at the moment. Foreign involvement is absolutely necessary bearing in mind the rebuilding of Acheh which needs assistance from a number of parties, particularly international organisations. Thus the presence of the UN will be extremely important to monitor the rebuilding of Acheh as well as monitoring the development of the peace agreement.
The desire of both parties to discuss their political obsessions should be first put aside bearing in mind the psychological condition of the Achenese people who are yet to recover from or are still experiencing the trauma of this horrific disaster. So trauma recovery, rebuilding infrastructure and the destroyed Achenese people's economy must be the first priority of this peace agreement.
In addition to this, in order to broaden the peace agreement with GAM as envisioned by the government, it must also first be preceded with a shift in the military operation in Acheh to a humanitarian operation by no longer carrying arms during operations, because carrying arms only adds to the trauma and fear of the Achenese people. Military involvement in Acheh should be limited to humanitarian assistance and disaster relief or a civil mission. Furthermore the government must also release all GAM political prisoners as a way to initiate the peace agreement.
The Achenese Popular Democratic Resistance Front (FPDRA) therefore calls for the following:
we urge GAM to respond openly and welcome the offer for a peace agreement which has been made by the Indonesian government;
the peace agreement must be proceeded by a cease-fire by both parties and a shift in the function of the Indonesian armed forces in Acheh to one of humanitarian assistance or a civil mission;
we urge both parties to involve all political spectrums which exist in Acheh in negations including students, political organisations, religious leaders and other public figures;
we urge both parties to ensure foreign involvement in the negotiations, especially the UN, as a neutral party which has the authority to act against either party if they violate the peace agreement;
as referred to above, all elements which are involve in negotiations must have the authority, post negotiations, to rebuild Acheh together for an unlimited period of time both politically or in terms of rehabilitation.
In making this joint statement, our hope is for a single will to rebuild a just and democratic society in Acheh.
Central Organisational Committee of the Achenese Popular Democratic Resistance Front (Front Perlawanan Demokratik Rakyat Acheh, FPDRA); Thamrin Ananda, chairperson.
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