3 January 2006

Secretary-General Welcomes Withdrawal of Indonesian Troops From Aceh, Dissolution of Free Aceh Movement's Armed Wing

NEW YORK, 30 December (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General welcomes the completion of the withdrawal by the Government of Indonesia of its troops from Aceh, honouring the terms of the peace accord with the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) signed in Helsinki, Finland, on 15 August 2005.  He also welcomes the handover by GAM of its declared arsenal of 840 weapons and the dissolution of its armed wing, as stipulated by the peace agreement.

The Secretary-General commends the efforts of the Aceh Monitoring Mission, comprised of EU and ASEAN members, in overseeing this historic period of transition, which he believes can serve to lay the foundation for a secure and peaceful Aceh.

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