News Release

* Aceh Peace Accords * Sudan



This week, the government of Indonesia and the Free Aceh Movement signed a peace deal in Finland.

Husin is the director of the Peace Education Program of Aceh, funded by UNICEF and Nonviolence International. Currently visiting the U.S., she said today: “Peace benefits both sides. The Acehnese are hopeful yet skeptical. This is the most far-reaching agreement so far and yet previous agreements have failed to be implemented. The Acehnese people are enormously grateful for the global support after the tsunami. Now we are pleading with the international community to strongly support this peace agreement. … A successful peace could have an important impact in the Muslim world.”
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Beer is the director of Nonviolence International. He said today: “The peace accords are a dramatic new development that should be supported with additional international funding and diplomatic backing. Recent U.S. steps to remove sanctions on the Indonesian military are ill-advised until the peace accords are fully implemented.”
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McWilliams is a retired U.S. Foreign Service officer, formerly stationed as a political officer in Indonesia. He said today: “The U.S. should pressure the Indonesian military and intelligence to abolish its support for militias in Aceh and in Indonesia. Many militias in Indonesia have long associations with the Indonesian security forces, and have been used repeatedly to attack domestic opponents as well as international monitors and U.N. personnel.”
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Shapiro and two other filmmakers traveled to Darfur, Sudan, last year. The documentary, “Message From Home,” will be released next month. He said today: “What we witnessed in Darfur was a systematic effort by the government of Sudan targeting the indigenous people of Darfur in order to eradicate them from the land. This was done through the empowerment of local militias.”
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Ngcoya is an associate at the policy analysis and communication department at Africa Action. He said today: “A year ago next month, the Bush administration declared that genocide is taking place in Darfur. Yet, not much has been done to stop this heinous crime against humanity. The Bush administration has failed to take urgent action at the international level on the most immediate priority — protecting the people of Darfur. In the meantime, genocide has continued unabated, claiming more than 400,000 lives and causing the displacement of some 2.5 million people. … Africa Action is running a petition drive, gathering 400,000 signatures for a message to President Bush, and demanding urgent action to stop the genocide in Darfur. We will feature the petition in a major event outside the White House on Sept. 8 at 12 noon, the one-year anniversary of the Bush administration’s recognition of the genocide in Darfur.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167