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The CFSP in Action - Aceh, Indonesia

A long-running dispute in the north-west tip of the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, between the Indonesian Government and those seeking independence for the area, has been brought to a peaceful conclusion. 

The EU played a key part in the implementation of the Agreement negotiated in Helsinki by former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari and signed there in August 2005 between the government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement.  Under the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the parties in August 2005, the EU led a small civilian mission under the auspices of the European Defence and Security Policy, the Aceh Monitoring Mission.  This mission included observers from ASEAN nations and from Norway and Switzerland to monitor the peace agreement.

The aim of the Aceh Monitoring Mission was to contribute to the establishment of a long-term and peaceful solution to the conflict within Aceh.  The tsunami of December 2004, which badly affected Aceh province, acted as an impulse for the resolution of this dispute.     

The Mission was been successful in its key aims of enabling the Free Aceh Movement to wind-up its military wing and disarm and to do so whilst Indonesia met its obligations to reorganise police and army units in the area.  The operation was completed in December 2006 and wound up after the holding of the first direct and democratic elections in Aceh on 11 December 2006. 

The Aceh Monitoring Mission is one of 16 EU missions concerned with security and crisis management carried out in recent years.  It was successful in helping to bring to an end a long-running conflict and thus making it possible for the international aid made available to Indonesia following the 2004 tsunami to be spent in the badly damaged Aceh province. 

October 2006; revised October 2007

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