Finnish Free Aceh Conflict negotiator Martti Ahtisaari withdraws from public activities due to dementia

The Chief Negotiatior of Indonesia Hamid Awaluddin (left) is shaking hands with Martti Ahtisaari and Prime Minister of the Free Aceh movement Malik Mahmud (right) after reaching a peace agreement in 2005 – Photo: Jenni-Justiina Niemi.

Former Finnish president and Nobels prize recipient Martti Ahtisaari – who is known for his role as peace negotiator in the conflict between the Indonesian Government and the Free Aceh movement – will be giving up all his public activities after getting dementia.

Martti was the President of Finland from 1994 to 2000 for the Social Democratic Party of Finland.

After his presidential period, he founded The Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) where he served as both consultant, mentor and expert. The objective of the CMI was to strengthen peace negotiations worldwide and to participate in preventive diplomatic processes.

One of the biggest achievements of the CMI was the peace negotiation in the conflict between the Indonesian government and the Free Aceh movement.

The conflict took place in the Aceh region of Indonesia located on the northern part of Sumatra. The insurgents of the Aceh movement were seeking separation from Indonesia. They did so in a war against the Indonesian government forces lasting almost three decades.

The CMI in cooperation with representatives from the two conflicting parts finally reached a peace agreement in 2005.

The CMI also took part in peace processes in Kosovo.

The peace promoting work earned Martti a Nobel Prize in 2008 as the first Finnish person ever.

About Lasse Sandholdt

ScandAsia Journalist • Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. • Bangkok, Thailand

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