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Chapter Summary

Aceh lies at the northern tip of the island of Sumatra, with a population of 4.01 million people. Aceh was the closest point of land to the epicentre of the tsunami which ravaged the western coast of Indonesia in December 2004. The aim of this chapter is to outline the history of Aceh and the Acehnese people to understand their claim to self-determination and the GAM's previous demand for independence from Indonesia. It will analyse the status of the conflict between the GAM and the Indonesian government as a war of national liberation, as well as the right of the GAM to resort to the use of force and the application of international humanitarian law to the conflict. In order to gain an understanding of the people of Aceh, the first part of this chapter will briefly describe the history of the region.

Keywords: Aceh; GAM; humanitarian law; Indonesia; Sumatra



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