2006 Mission Report: Aceh Indonesia
The tsunami was a tragedy for the people of Aceh. The magnitude of the loss of life has left the people with great grief. It also brought an unexpected end to the violence and a crucial change within Aceh. The international community's support is now very much needed to see that peace and democracy flourish in the region following the Helsinki Agreement. The Pilkada (elections) of 11 December 2006 have demonstrated that all difficulties can be overcome when the political will exists to restore normality, as happened in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam in Indonesia. It was a valuable moment for ANFREL to be present when these elections were held in a free and fair manner. Observers witnessed crucial developments in this post-conflict situation, such as when all candidates came together to sign their names on a marble stone in front of the Baiturahman Grand Mosque, committing themselves to a peaceful contest. The message to the whole world was that there had been enough tears and bloodshed and now it was time for peace.