Aceh Tsunami Insights from Family Care Foundation

At the time that the tsunami struck Indonesia in late December 2004, the Free Aceh Movement of Aceh province was involved in a thirty-year conflict with the central government.

The regional conflict in Aceh was not to do with religion but the control of resources: oil, natural gas and timber. read more

1 comment:

Grant Montgomery said...

More on GAM:
A former GAM rebel was recently inaugurated as governor of the Indonesian province of Aceh. Irwandi Yusuf, a former spokesman for the Free Aceh Movement (GAM), won the first direct elections for the post on 38 percent of the December 11 vote, with his nearest rivals on less than 17 percent.

The elections were seen as consolidating a peace accord signed between the rebels and Indonesian government in August 2005 to end decades of bloodshed.

Yusuf was jailed in 2003 for rebellion and eventually fled when the tsunami struck on December 26, 2004, flooding his prison.

The giant waves compelled the rebels and the Indonesian government to reassess their priorities after the long-running conflict.

Under the peace deal signed in Helsinki, GAM rebels laid down their weapons and Jakarta withdrew non-local troops and police from the province at the northern tip of Sumatra, and granted an amnesty to rebels and political prisoners.

In return for GAM dropping its call for independence, Jakarta granted the resource-rich region greater autonomy and allowed the establishment of local political parties, a first for Indonesia.