Making peace – Ahtisaari and Aceh
A unique insider’s view of how peace is being built in practice under extreme circumstances in places like Aceh.
The tsunami on Boxing Day 2004 brought the Indonesian province of Aceh to the attention of the world. In only a few minutes an estimated 180,000 people were killed and 600,000 made homeless. As news of the tsunami dominated headlines around the world many heard for the first time of the bloody civil war, which the guerilla movement GAM and the Indonesian government troops had waged for 30 years.
A month after the natural disaster, January 2005, both sides sat at a negotiating table in Finland. Few believed that Martti Ahtisaari, a former President of Finland, would be able to steer them towards peace. The international community was astonished seven months later when GAM and the Indonesian government signed a peace agreement in Helsinki and declared that the conflict was over.
Making Peace – Ahtisaari and Aceh is a unique insider’s view of the negotiations led by Ahtisaari. Finnish journalist Katri Merikallio followed the events closely in Finland and traveled to Indonesia to see, how peace is being built in practice under extreme circumstances in places like Aceh.
President Ahtisaari on Aceh negotiations: ”I always praise the parties for the fact that this is an agreement between them. No amount of peacekeepers can guarantee peace if the parties are not committed to it.”