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AMM'S tenure in Aceh should end as originally planned: PBHI

Antara News - January 6, 2006

The Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association (PBHI) said the tenure of the Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM) in Aceh should end as originally scheduled because otherwise a bad precedent would be set, a spokesman said.

"AMM's existence in Aceh should not be prolonged and a new institution should be created if there is a need for a body to observe further developments in Aceh, to give inputs to the central government. It should not be a technical one, like AMM," Henry T Simarmata, the assocaiton's external affairs coordinator, said.

The AMM which began functioning in Aceh after the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Indonesian government and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) on August 15 in Helshinki, Finland, is to terminate its mission on March 15.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla said recently AMM's tenure might be extended by up to three months.

Henry added AMM should end its task in Aceh as stipulated in the MoU and thus it would make the agreement credible. "All actors in the MoU should work hard to complete their tasks based on the agreement, as credibility is very important for the peace process itself," he said.

He added AMM had implemented its tasks very well by completing its tasks, namely observing GAM's demobilization, arms decommissioning, observing the relocation of Army troops, non-organic police and the reintegration of GAM members into Aceh society.

He said AMM could be said to have successfully observed the transition of the armed conflict into a democratic peace. If a new institution like AMM would be set up, he said, it should be in different form and have a different mandate.

He said in PBHI's view establishment of a new institution was needed to gain international support and consolidate the reconstruction in the aftermath of the tsunami with the peace process.

Besides, he said, the Aceh and Nias Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Body (BRR) also needed the presence of a multirateral and multinational body that would work in tandem with it in aceh. "If the bodies work seprately, the peace process will move slowly," he added.