This report details the aim, history, activities and outcomes of the Aceh Peace Process Follow- Up Project, and provides a set of recommendations on how the process can successfully be continued.
Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) concluded in 2009 that an invigorated, systematic and constructive dialogue process was needed to achieve a satisfactory implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which had been signed in 2005 in Helsinki by the Government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM). Consequently, CMI initiated the Aceh Peace Process Follow-Up Project, which was made possible through the support of the European Union.
In the course of the project, President Ahtisaari, chairman of CMI and the mediator of the Helsinki peace agreement, provided an advising role that helped to keep the follow-up process on track. To achieve the goal of establishing an effective dialogue mechanism between the signatories of the MoU, CMI advised the parties on a structured approach and provided expertise on thematic areas related to unimplemented MoU issues. In addition, CMI maintained a regular dialogue with the provincial government and parliament of Aceh, and held consultations with representatives of civil society organisations.
The project has been able to witness the development of a process entitled “Focus Group Discussions” designed to address the implementation of the MoU commitments, initiated by the Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal and Security Affairs and its Aceh Desk. Until now, four of these meetings have been held, attended by CMI’s country coordinator as an observer. The FGD meetings have assumed the format of an institutionalised process owned by the signatories of the MoU.
The report details the provisions of the MoU that remain yet to be dealt with by the parties. These include deviations of the Law on the Governing of Aceh (LoGA) from the MoU and the unimplemented MoU provisions. It is suggested that an evaluation of the six years of implementation of the Law of Governing Aceh could provide an important input for a possible process leading to an amendment of the law and allowing the concerns and grievances to be taken up in a systematic fashion. It is the aim that most of these aspects, if not all, will be successively dealt with in the FGD by 2014.
The report also considers some important influencing factors for sustaining peace in Aceh. These include the need for a strong civil society, with whom the local government should regularly have consultations; strengthening of the economy; continued support for women empowerment in political life: and the continued development of a healthy, reformed security sector. In conclusion, President Ahtisaari and CMI remain encouraged by the achievements so far and commend the parties’ willingness to engage in a constructive manner towards resolving the open issues. With the project, CMI is concluding its role in supporting the peace process, while encouraging all parties to continue constructive collaboration on the promising path to sustained peace in Aceh.