ACEH MONITORING MISSION
Letter from the Chairman to Rt Hon Douglas
Alexander MP, Minister for Europe, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Thank you for the Explanatory Memorandum dated
9 February 2006 which was cleared in the Chairman's sift on 14
We would like to commend the EU for the way
in which this Mission has been conducted to date and consider
that the proposed extension is fully justified. We ask to see
any future report assessing the operation of the Mission as and
when it is produced.
16 February 2006
Letter from Rt Hon Geoff Hoon MP, Minister
for Europe, Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the Chairman
Further to the FCO's Explanatory Memorandum
of 18 May on the Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM), Jimmy Hood's Committee
asked for clarification on why the election timetable had slipped.
Overall, implementation of the peace agreement
has continued to progress well. Reintegration of former Free Aceh
Movement (GAM) fighters is continuing, the outstanding amnesty
cases are being resolved, and the number of security and human
rights incidents in Aceh has dropped. In May, GAM announced that
it was relaunching as a civilian political movement.
However, a new Law on Governing Aceh (LoGA),
mandated in the peace agreement, needs to be passed through the
national parliament in Jakarta before the local elections can
take place (its provisions cover how the election will be run),
This is necessary to fulfil some of the terms of the peace agreementin
particular, the clause on local political participation. Under
the peace agreement, the LoGA should have been passed by 31 March
2006. The delay came about because the draft bill, presented to
Parliament on 31 January by the Indonesian government, is still
under discussion by the relevant parliamentary committee.
At this stage, we do not judge that the delay
is a significant setback to overall implementation of the MoU.
The bill is progressing through the parliamentary system. The
Indonesian government has pledged to urge the legislature to take
the draft law forward quickly once it reaches plenary session.
Thus far the GAM leadership has not made an issue of the delayed
Under these circumstances we support this short
extension to the AMM. Its presence is helping provide confidence
to both sides during this crucial period and premature withdrawal
could prove detrimental.
May I add that in the Explanatory Memorandum
we stated that the AMM would be reduced on extension from around
200 to 85 EU and ASEAN country monitors. In fact, the number of
monitors was reduced on 15 March, to 88 (the current total).
21 June 2006
Letter from Rt Hon Ian McCartney MP, Minister
for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs, Department of Trade
and Industry, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Geoff Hoon wrote to you on 21 June to explain
the background to our decision to support the extension of the
Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM) until mid-September, to allow it
to remain in place during the run-up to local elections.
On 11 July, the Law on Governing Aceh (LoGA)
was passed by the Indonesian parliament. Although the final text
was not entirely consistent with the terms of the peace agreement
in certain areas, replacing references to the need for the "consent"
of Acehnese government with the alternative formula of "consultation
and consideration", the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) has agreed
to consider the text carefully, and pledged not to return to armed
conflict. Consultation is likely to continue for some time, including
over the local regulations which will determine the detail of
how the legislation is implemented. So far the signs are that
this issue will not derail the peace process.
Now that the legislation has been passed, preparations
for Acehnese local elections can proceed. The government has said
that this will take 120 days at least. As this takes us past the
beginning of Ramadan, the elections are now likely to take place
As a consequence, the Indonesian government
has now requested a further extension to the AMM to continue to
support stability in the province and to facilitate contacts between
the government and GAM in the pre-election period. This is supported
It is likely that a decision on this will be
taken by the EU at the September GAERC. I shall confirm whether
this will be the case once a text of the Joint Action is available
and after the Presidency has indicated its intended schedule.
The EU and ASEAN contributing countries are likely to agree to
an extension with a narrower mandate.
The extended AMM will operate in parallel with
an EU election observer mission (EOM), and it will be focused
on resolving any tensions which arise in the run-up to the electionssomething
which the EU EOM would not have a mandate to do. The mission will
also be further slimmed down, probably leaving a small team in
the headquarters in Banda Aceh, and two district offices, one
on the west coast and one in the east. Mobile monitoring teams
will cover other parts of the province.
We support this. It is a tribute to the success
of the AMM and reflects well on the EU. It is important to see
the peace process through in Aceh, and to provide support through
the potentially difficult pre-election period. We have impressed
upon the Indonesians the importance of ensuring that the elections
take place as promised in November.
As soon as a text for the proposed Joint Action
becomes available, I shall ensure this is forwarded to your Committee
with an Explanatory Memorandum in the usual way.
7 August 2006
Letter from Rt Hon Ian McCartney MP to
Following my letter of 7 August, I am writing
to let the Committee know of plans to extend the Aceh Monitoring
Mission (AMM) until 15 December 2006. This extension has been
requested by the Indonesian government, and supported by the Free
Aceh Movement (GAM), to allow the mission to cover the period
of time until the local elections in Aceh. This will be the final
extension of the missionthe election date has been confirmed
as 11 December.
The AMM's current mandate expires on 15 September,
and a decision on its extension will need to be taken at the September
GAERC, before parliament resumes. This will unfortunately mean
that there is not enough time for your Committee to scrutinise
the decision. I hope therefore the Committee will understand if
I agree the decision before scrutiny.
4 September 2006