President calls on people in Aceh to preserve peace

"Eight years ago we were able to end the conflict in Aceh. It was because of our patience and hard work. In view of that, maintain and preserve the peace," Yudhoyono said.
Banda Aceh (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has called on the people of Aceh to continue to maintain peace in this once conflict-torn region.

"Eight years ago we were able to end the conflict in Aceh. It was because of our patience and hard work. In view of that, maintain and preserve the peace," he urged the public here on Friday.

President Yudhoyono said the conflict in Aceh lasted for 30 years, during which people could not live peacefully and securely and development efforts were hindered.

He added that he became involved in creating peace in Aceh in 2000 and since then there have been both successes and failures.

"As one of the actors in the history of creating peace in Aceh, I had experienced a lot of things, successes as well as failures in the effort to create peace in Aceh," he said.

Finally, he said, on August 15, 2005 peace was achieved. The two sides, the Indonesian government and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM), agreed to end the conflict in the region.

Now, after a long journey for peace has been taken, people in the region live peacefully and securely and development efforts continue to accelerate to improve their welfare, he noted.

President Yudhoyono added that preserving security and peace in Aceh was the obligation of all parties in the region.

This peace must not be spoiled for any reason, he warned.

At the end of 2014, he said he would end his position as president after holding office for two terms, or ten years.

"I will keep praying for Aceh so that it will continue to progress and to become more peaceful and prosperous. That is my personal hope and also the hope of all of us. In view of that, I will always appeal to people in Aceh to maintain and preserve the peace," he said.

President Yudhoyono, accompanied by First Lady Ani Yudhoyono, came to Aceh to receive an honorary doctorate degree from local Syah Kuala University in Banda Aceh and officially open the 6th Aceh Cultural Festival.(*)

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