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Learning English - Words in the News
 
14 December, 2005 - Published 11:31 GMT
 
Final round of Aceh disarmament
 
The weapons are being handed over to international monitors.
The weapons are being handed over to international monitors.

Rebels in the Indonesian province of Aceh are handing in the last of their weapons as part of a peace agreement signed between rebels of the free Aceh movement and the Indonesian government. It’s hoped this will be the end of twenty six years of fighting. Rachel Harvey reports.

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In theory the deadline for the decommissioning of rebel weapons is the end of the year but there's always been another date in mind. December the 26th, the anniversary of the tsunami disaster which destroyed huge swathes of Aceh and killed an estimated hundred and sixty thousand people. It was the tsunami which prompted the two sides to get back to the negotiating table.

So far the peace process has gone far more smoothly than anyone expected but there are major obstacles ahead. The first is integrating former rebels back into civilian life. The other is the political future of the province. Under the terms of the agreement the free Aceh movement should be allowed to form a local political party but that requires a change in the law which must be approved by parliament in Jakarta. It's likely to be a lengthy and potentially acrimonious process.

But an event due to take place on Wednesday evening shows how much things have already changed in Aceh. The international monitors overseeing the decommissioning process have challenged the rebels to a football match. Rachel Harvey, BBC news, Jakarta

Listen to the words

the deadline for the decommissioning of rebel weapons
the time when rebels must give up their weapons

in mind
that people were thinking about

huge swathes
large areas

prompted the two sides to get back to the negotiating table
made the two sides start discussions again

major obstacles ahead
big difficulties to come

integrating former rebels back into civilian life
people who used to be rebels becoming part of the normal community

Under the terms of the agreement
According to what the agreement says

approved by parliament
accepted by government members

a lengthy and potentially acrimonious process
a process which is long and may cause lots of arguments

international monitors
people from different countries who make sure the decommissioning happens without problems


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