The Jakarta Post
On a hot December day in 2006, the people of Banda Aceh gathered in a field, to watch the unimaginable: The handing over of weapons by the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) to the Aceh Monitoring Mission (AHM), joined by Indonesian police and military personnel. Since then, the war of the past three decades, fought with bullets, has been replaced by the ballot.
The European Union (EU) was one of the parties actively involved in peace attempts before the historic signing of the MoU in Helsinki, Finland. It proceeded to set up the AMM; its weekly meetings with former combatants, led by Pieter Feith, helped build trust in the early years of peace building.
Despite the occasional acts of violence, residents, now led by the second directly elected Governor Zaini Abdullah, largely enjoy peace, while expectations have risen to not only survive the post-war but to also rebuild lives after...