Lasting Peace in Indonesia’s Aceh Province Depends on Truth and Reconciliation

A woman casts her ballot at a voting station during a local election in Aceh Besar, Aceh province, Indonesia, April 9, 2012 (AP photo by Heri Juanda).
A woman casts her ballot at a voting station during a local election in Aceh Besar, Aceh province, Indonesia, April 9, 2012 (AP photo by Heri Juanda).

Hailed as the model for resolving long-running separatist insurgencies in Southeast Asia, the 2005 agreement that ended a nearly 30-year civil war in Indonesia’s Aceh province, on the northwestern tip of Sumatra, is showing its cracks. Under the peace deal, Aceh was granted more political autonomy as the separatist rebels of the Free Aceh Movement, known in Indonesian as the Gerakan Aceh Merdeka, or GAM, laid down their arms. Since then, the province has held several democratic elections, while its economy has grown at an annual clip of 5 percent over the past decade. But while the deal has provided […]

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