United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan welcomed the signing today in Helsinki of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Indonesia Government and the separatist Free Aceh Movement, which is designed to end nearly 30 years of conflict in the province, and he applauded both parties for reaching a peaceful settlement of the dispute through dialogue.
Mr. Annan said in a statement issued today by his spokesman in New York that he was pleased to learn that the memorandum was a comprehensive agreement, covering a wide array of issues ranging from the governing of Aceh and security arrangements to human rights issues. He also commended former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari for the mediation role that he played throughout the negotiation process.
“He sincerely hopes that the memorandum will be implemented in full, so that a lasting peace can prevail in Aceh after nearly 30 years of conflict there. The people in Aceh deserve a peaceful future,” the statement said.
Reiterating his call for both parties to demonstrate continued resolve and commitment, Mr. Annan said he was encouraged to learn that monitors from the European Union (EU) and a number of Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries were being deployed as of today to Aceh as a part of the Aceh Monitoring Mission.
The MoU signing follows a preliminary peace agreement reached between the two parties in mid-July.