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Govt to delay last Aceh police withdrawal JAKARTA - Transport problems have delayed until early next week the withdrawal of Indonesia's last police reinforcements from Aceh province, the final stage in a pullout of tens of thousands of soldiers and police under a landmark peace deal, police said. The contingent, which had been due to leave on Saturday, was likely to leave on Monday because of problems getting a vessel to ship them home.

The peace agreement was spurred by the devastation of the Indian Ocean tsunami last year. The Finnish-mediated deal ended nearly 30 years of war that took some 15,000 lives, most of them civilian, in the province on the northern tip of Sumatra island. "The ships will depart from Jakarta tomorrow. There are problems with the ships," Senior Commissioner Husein Hamidi, chief of operations of Aceh police, told Reuters by phone from Banda Aceh.

"We predict the ships will land in Lhokseumawe on Jan. 2. We have reported it to the AMM (Aceh Monitoring Mission). We are waiting for the ships. Soon after the ships come, they will depart." The Free Aceh Movement (GAM) finished its weapons handover earlier this month. The agreement was signed in August after talks between the two sides accelerated following last December's tsunami, which left 170,000 people dead or missing in Aceh.

The Aug. 15 truce requires Indonesia to cut troop and police levels in Aceh to no more than 14,700 soldiers and 9,100 police. Prior to the pact, it had more than 35,000 soldiers and 15,000 police in the province on the northern tip of Sumatra island. With the weapons handover now complete and troop withdrawals set to conclude, security experts say the next challenges are finding jobs for demobilised fighters and satisfying rebel demands for political participation in Aceh.


Link to related event Related event:
The Aceh conflict

Related blog entries (category 'Aceh conflict') Related blog entries (category 'Aceh conflict'):
30 December 2005 · Indonesia pulls last troops from Aceh province
29 December 2005 · Indonesia to withdraw 24,000 troops from Aceh
27 December 2005 · Aceh rebels disband armed wing
24 December 2005 · Govt to withdraw last troops from Aceh on 29th December
19 December 2005 · Former Aceh rebels complete weapons handover


Posted in Aceh conflict @ 01 January 2006 10:47 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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