Malaysia to send observers for peace in Indonesia's Aceh province

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug6, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- Malaysia has agreed to participate in the International Monitoring Team to oversee peace in Indonesia's Aceh province, a senior Malaysian official said on Saturday.

Malaysia will send some 30 observers to join the team in Aceh led by the European Union, Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said at Kota Tinggi in the state of Johor.

The Malaysians would carry out civilian missions, such as monitoring the handover of arms, he was quoted as saying by local media.

Besides Malaysia, Indonesia had also invited peacekeepers from several other Southeast Asian countries to join the team, he said.

After years of fighting which claimed thousands of lives in resource rich Aceh in northern Sumatra, the Indonesian government and the separatist rebels in Aceh will finally reach a peace accord scheduled for Aug. 15 in Helsinki, Finland. Under the treaty, Indonesia will give autonomy to Aceh while Aceh will drop its aim of splitting from the republic.

Local media said that the two sides are scheduled to sign the peace treaty in Helsinki on August 15.