A Leap of Faith
That's the peace accord between the Government of Indonesia (GoI) and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) signed today
in Helsinki. The deal centers on a decommissioning of the GAM rebel movement, in exchange for participation in the political process, and a withdrawal of the Indonesian army and police forces from the troubled region, to be completed by the end of the year.
Chief mediator Martti Ahtisaari said today
, "The agreement is under 10 pages long and we could have signed 100 pages but what counts is not words but deeds.
"It's a leap of faith"
The treaty says that GAM rebels will lay down their arms, integrate into civil society, and be allowed to participate in the political process and establish political parties.
The Indonesian central government army and police forces will withdraw from Aceh, leaving local police in charge.
There will be a mechanism for ensuring human rights and an amnesty will be granted.
There will be a human rights court in Aceh and a commission for truth and reconciliation.
The decommissioning and withdrawal is to be achieved over a four month period in four installments, to be completed by December.
Ahtisaari said he was pleased that the treaty had been agreed, "but now everything depends on the commitment of the parties".
The full text of the agreement can be read in my archives here
It may have taken the tsunami to finally reach this historic day, but given faith and goodwill from both sides, with a commitment to purge Aceh of militia forces with their own malicious agendas, this could well serve as a blueprint for peace pacts elsewhere.
Starting with Papua perhaps?