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Shore up reintegration with justice for the victims of violence

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In view of the successful election on 11 December 2006, victims of violence of three decades of bloody conflict in Acheh have today risen up together to demand for fairness and justice. With the departure of the Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM) because of the end of its mandate, the victims of violence fear repeated violence and further tarnishing of the peace process – they demand that the AMM to look into the situation in Acheh seriously and in the spirit of solidarity for the victims of violence. They have issued a statement to this effect.(AJMI, Solidaritas Persaudaraan Korban Pelanggaran HAM Aceh, Komunitas Korban Pelanggaran Ham Aceh, SMUR, KontraS Aceh, LBH Banda Aceh, Solidaritas Perempuan Aceh, Koalisi NGO HAM Aceh, PULIH, RPUK and FORUM-ASIA)

The transition process from conflict to peace in Acheh today is not going as desired. With the latest euphoria engulfing Acheh on the winner of the local election (Pilkada) and the issue of reintegration, especially the one related to victims’ rights and justice, is at the unfortunate end of this transition.

Three decades of conflict in Acheh, has given us thoughts and narrative of life that people will never forgot about the crimes against humanity. Most people in the community and especially the government regard past human rights violations as non-issues. Principally, all past human rights violations that took place in Acheh had been systematically perpetrated by the state and until today, no one has been made responsible and brought to justice. Furthermore, the victims of violence have yet to receive any compensation from the government.

Realistically speaking, with data compiled and evidence shown, the outcome from the complicated policy has never been victim-friendly whilst perpetrators still walk free without being held responsible for their crimes. To answer the growing demand for peace, the government had created Badan Reintegrasi Aceh (BRA) to promote transitional peace. However, today BRA is only acting as a government servant, giving lip service and promises to the victims of violence. The gap between the victims of violence and BRA further tarnishes the reintegration, though in fact BRA’s establishment is to provide rights and support for the victims of violence.

The government’s excuse from responsibility from past human rights violations in Acheh can be seen by the abolishment of the Bill on Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) a few days ago. Even though the TRC still lacks of substantive content, it has nevertheless become a tool of aspiration for the victims of violence in the quest for justice. The question is: why is the TRC being abolished? Is the state trying to avoid justice on past human rights violations in Acheh?

BRA’s responsibility is not just providing funds, financial support or compensation, but to uphold justice and promote peace together with the victims of violence. So if BRA is not in favor of victims – while they still have not received what is vital and right – the peace process is mere promises, stagnant and futile.

With much more to be done and difficulties to surmount, questions remain unanswered and issues remain unresolved, the Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM) is leaving Acheh because its mandate is about to end. On another front, the Government of Indonesia seems to agree with the departure of the AMM while Acheh is still at risk of repeated violence. What would be the AMM’s responsibility in the amnesty process that has not been resolved yet? There are still many political prisoners who have not been granted amnesty, and the reintegration agenda has been put on hold because the BRA has not given any accurate data.

Who will continue and resolve this problem? Will the Government of Indonesia do it? The BRA? Or will it be left to itself, where new problems might arise and create new conflicts?

The abovementioned reality has earlier been predicted, having seen a minimum effort to promote peace over violence in the past few months. The only choice now is to resolve the reintegration issue based on the principle of fairness and justice for the victims of violence. We also request AMM to create a mechanism among the international community, international groups, embassies and consulates, to extend peace monitoring in Acheh to an indefinite time, or at least until the establishment of the local parliament in Acheh, after the General Election in 2009.

Our demand is objective and clear in order to preserve peace and to avoid possible conflict in Acheh.

On behalf of the victims of violence, we extend Peace.

Committee of the Victims of Violence
Banda Acheh, 14 December 2006