Indonesia, Rebels Draft Peace Deal
HELSINKI, Finland – Indonesia's (search) government and Aceh rebels have reached a peace deal to end a 29-year insurgency in the tsunami-devastated province, a top Indonesian official said Sunday.
A draft peace deal submitted by the rebel Free Aceh Movement (search) was approved Saturday by the Indonesian president in Jakarta, said Indonesian Communications Minister Sofyan Djalil, one of the lead negotiators at peace talks in Finland.
On Saturday, negotiators on both sides had said they reached a tentative agreement to end one of the world's longest-running wars.
The peace deal will ease the delivery of international reconstruction aid to the province of 4.1 million inhabitants which was severely damaged by the Dec. 26 tsunami (search) that killed at least 130,000 people.
The draft accord, which hinged on an agreement to allow the separatist Free Aceh Movement to form its own political party, was sent to Jakarta for approval by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
"The president has agreed to the draft submitted by GAM about political parties" Djalil said Sunday morning, referring to the Free Aceh Movement by its Indonesian acronym.
The two sides are scheduled to meet later in the day to initial the deal. It will be signed at a formal ceremony in the Finnish capital in mid-August.