The Government of the Republic of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement signed a peace agreement on 15 August after a negotiation process facilitated by CMI and its Chairman, President Ahtisaari.
The Memorandum of Understanding covers the following topics: governing of Aceh (including a law on the governing of Aceh, political participation, economy, and rule of law), human rights, amnesty and reintegration into society, security arrangements, establishment of the Aceh Monitoring Mission, and dispute settlement. The Government of Indonesia invited the European Union and a number of ASEAN countries to carry out the tasks of the Aceh Monitoring Mission.
The agreement has already brought significant developments in Aceh, including the Indonesian Government withdrawing non-organic military and police forces from Aceh and the Free Aceh Movement undertaking the decommissioning of all armaments and demobilisation of troops in a parallel process to the withdrawal of the non-organic military and police forces, the granting of amnesty to GAM members and political prisoners and the promulgation of a new law for the governing of Aceh. The agreement foresaw also the establishment of an Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM) by the European Union and five ASEAN contributing countries to monitor the implementation of the agreement.
In their joint statement after the fifth round of negotiations, the parties stated that they "confirm their commitment to a peaceful, comprehensive and sustainable solution to the conflict in Aceh with dignity for all. The parties are committed to creating conditions within which the government of the Acehnese people can be manifested through a fair and democratic process within the unitary state and constitution of the Republic of Indonesia. The parties are deeply convinced that only the peaceful settlement of the conflict will enable the rebuilding of Aceh after the tsunami disaster on 26 December 2004 to progress and succeed. The parties to the conflict commit themselves to building mutual confidence and trust."
Crisis Management Initiative and its Chairman, President Ahtisaari, were asked to facilitate talks between the Government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM). A first round of talks, the first face-to-face meeting between the parties since May 2003, took place on 27-29 January 2005 in Helsinki. The second round of talks took place on 21-23 February, the third round on 12-16 April and the fourth on 26-31 May. In between the fourth and fifth rounds, CMI prepared a draft Memorandum of Understanding, which formed the basis of discussion during the fifth round. The fifth round of negotiations was held from 12 to 17 July. The agreement was signed on 15 August 2005.
Crisis Management Initiative is involved in the implementation phase of the agreement through being part of the dispute settlement mechanism agreed upon in the Memorandum of Understanding, which states that the Chairman of the Board of the Crisis Management Initiative will be called upon to rule on disputes if they cannot be settled between the parties and the Head of the Monitoring Mission.
The negotiation process was facilitated by financial support from the European Commission Rapid Reaction Mechanism and the Netherlands Government, and financial and in kind support from the Finnish Government. CMI's involvement in the dispute settlement mechanism is funded by the European Commission Rapid Reaction Mechanism and the Swiss and Norwegian Governments.
27-29 January 2005: The negotiation process started with Crisis Management Initiative facilitating the first talks between the Government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement in the aftermath of the 26 December 2004 tsunami disaster.
15 August 2005: The Government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement signed the peace agreement (Memorandum of Understanding) in Helsinki after five rounds of negotiation. The monitoring mission started its Initial Monitoring Presence.
15 September 2005: The Aceh Monitoring Mission - deployed by the European Union, Norway, Switzerland, Thailand, the Phillippines, Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei Darussalam - was lauched to monitor the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding.
31 December 2005:The Free Aceh Movement completed the handing over of weapons and the Government of Indonesia completed the withdrawal of troops from Aceh, as agreed in the Memorandum of Understanding.
11 July 2006: The Parliament of the Republic of Indonesia passed the new Law on Aceh Administration.
15 August 2006: The one year anniversary of the peace agreement was celebrated in Aceh. President Ahtisaari, CMI's Executive Director Ms Arola and other CMI staff attended.