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Jakarta Post

Aceh 14 years on: Peace by fiat?

  • Julia Suryakusuma

Jakarta   /   Wed, August 21 2019   /  12:51 am

The Bible says the world was created by fiat. No, no! I don’t mean Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino, the Italian automotive company, but the word taken from Latin which means “let it be done”. God just needs to proclaim, command, suggest it, and sim sala bim! It comes into existence!If only humans could do that! We declare peace, and peace reigns on Earth!Aug. 15 this year marked the 14th anniversary of the Aceh Peace Agreement which ended 30 years of conflict between the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) and Indonesian military forces. The war lasted from 1976 to 2005, claiming an estimated 15,000 lives.The background of the conflict is complex, stemming from historical mistreatment, distribution of resources (Aceh’s gas reserves were then among the largest in the world), disagreements over the implementation of Islamic law, etc. Aceh had been a bastion of resistance against Dutch rul...