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The December 2004 tsunami offered an unex- 1945. Formed in 1976, the GAM, developed pected political opportunity for peacemaking in into a de facto government of the province the Indonesian province of , site of a long- with its own tax system and armed forces. running insurgency. The need to cooperate on a But from 1990 to 1998 the Indonesian army large-scale humanitarian operation brought and paramilitary forces mounted counterin- about tentative reconciliation between the gov- surgency operations, reportedly claiming one ernment of Indonesia and the separatist Free thousand lives. The 1998 fall of President Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka Haji Mohamed Suharto offered an opportu- [GAM]). A memorandum of understanding nity for peace—in 2001 Megawati Sukarno- signed on 15 August 2005 outlined steps in that putri gained the presidency on a platform that direction, including demilitarization and Indo- included peace in Aceh. nesian troop withdrawal. The In December 2002, Indonesia and GAM and five members of the Association of South- signed a framework agreement on the cessa- east Asian Nations (ASEAN) deployed the 250- tion of hostilities, which included provisions strong Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM) to ob- for third-party monitoring. After prolonged serve its implementation, which became opera- negotiations failed to achieve progress on tional on 15 September 2005. While the AMM’s Aceh’s political status, President Megawati mandate is limited, it is the EU’s first in Asia and authorized new military operations against the the first such collaboration between the EU and GAM in May 2003. But violence never re- ASEAN countries. turned to pre-2002 levels and even before the Aceh has been a center of resistance to tsunami there was a new impetus for peace. The the Indonesian government since the country International Crisis Group (ICG) has claimed gained independence from the in that in October 2004 the new Indonesian gov- ernment of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoy- ono reached a secret agreement with exiled GAM leaders on the cessation of hostilities. EU Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM) The tsunami provided both sides with the opportunity to make difficult public political • Authorization date 9 September 2005 (Joint Council choices. Immediately following the tragedy, Action 2005/643/CFSP) GAM declared a unilateral cease-fire so as to • Start date September 2005 allow humanitarian aid to be delivered. It also • Head of mission Pieter Feith (Netherlands) sent representatives to talks in , mod- • Budget as of $18.1 million (2005) erated by an independent nongovernmental 30 September 2005 organization, the Crisis Management Initiative • Strength as of Military observers: 216 (CMI), founded by former Finnish president 30 September 2005 Martti Ahtisaari. Five rounds of talks produced the August Memorandum, which formally

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ended the violence, offered an amnesty to are complemented by mobile decommissioning imprisoned GAM members, and prompted the teams. While the mission includes a number of deployment of the AMM. former military personnel, it is an unarmed The AMM’s main purpose is to observe civilian force—the Indonesian government implementation of the August Memorandum. bears responsibility for its security. Formally, it has acted on the invitation of the By the end of September 2005 the AMM Indonesian government and with the full sup- had overseen the first stage of withdrawal of port of the GAM. Its tasks include monitoring Indonesian troops and the destruction of the demobilization of the GAM, assisting in the first batch of weapons surrendered by the decommissioning of its arms, as well as the GAM. In this period, 6,671 Indonesian military withdrawal of Indonesian forces, the mainte- and around 1,300 police moved out of Aceh, nance of human rights, and the development and a total of 243 arms were handed over by of new legislation affecting the province. the GAM. The next phase was launched the While it has the right to rule on disputed day before its 15 October deadline and con- amnesty cases, the AMM is not empowered cluded in ten days. With all parties apparently to take on the role of facilitator or negotiator, keen to keep up this pace, military and police which remain the prerogative of the CMI. withdrawals concluded on 29 December and 5 The European Union’s Political and Secu- January, respectively. The only Indonesian rity Committee (PSC) is responsible for the Security personnel left in the province were AMM’s political control and strategic guid- native to it. ance, under overall authority of the Council of Nonetheless, some difficulties arose in the EU. The head of the mission is a senior the amnesty process. By early October 2005, Council official, Pieter Feith, supported by a the GAM was concerned that around a hun- principal deputy from Thailand, Lieutenant dred of its members had not yet been released General Nipat Thonglek, and two EU deputies. by the Indonesian government. Ambassador The initial mandate was six months. Disarma- Feith declared his determination to pursue ment and troop withdrawals in Aceh were this issue, and was optimistic that a solution scheduled to be completed by 31 December, would be found by the mission’s conclusion. with the mission scheduled to end on 15 The delivery of assistance to former GAM March 2006. members, organized by the International The AMM is a fully integrated operation Organization for Migration (IOM) and moni- under EU leadership, with 130 personnel from tored by the AMM, also encountered difficul- the EU, plus and Switzerland. Another ties, as the GAM refused to reveal their names ninety-six staff are supplied by five “ASEAN for security reasons. contributing countries”—Brunei, , As the demobilization process continued, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand—which the focus of the AMM began to shift toward are involved in the mission in their own right monitoring human rights. Human right experts rather than representing ASEAN. The mission were scheduled to gradually replace arms spe- headquarters are in the regional capital of cialists within the mission. A decision on extend- Banda Aceh, with monitoring cells located in ing the AMM beyond its six-month mandate ten district offices across the province. These was scheduled to be made by January 2006.