Indonesian troops start withdrawing from Aceh province

Jakarta (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Indonesia has withdrawn some 800 soldiers from Aceh province to fulfil its obligations under the terms of the peace agreement it signed in Helsinki with the separatist rebels of the Free Aceh Movement (GAM).

One infantry battalion and an artillery company left Aceh for their bases. Four more battalions will be withdrawn in two days' time. By the end of the week, more than 6,000 soldiers will have pulled out of Aceh.

For their part, rebels last week began handing in their weapons. Some 279 weapons have been collected, a quarter of their declared arsenal.

So far the process of disarmament has gone remarkably smooth.