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Indonesia Begins Final Troop Withdrawal from Aceh


Indonesia's military has started the final phase of troop withdrawals from Aceh province, as part of a peace accord to end a 30-year-long separatist insurgency.

An army spokesman said Tuesday 1,600 troops were being withdrawn, and more would follow next week. Indonesia began the pullout a day after rebels from the Free Aceh Movement surrendered their final batch of weapons. The peace agreement calls for Indonesian soldiers to leave Aceh, in parallel with militants handing over weapons to international monitors.

Under the deal, only 14,000 Indonesian soldiers are allowed to remain in Aceh after the military completes its last withdrawal.

Indonesia and the rebels signed the truce in August in a bid to help Aceh recover from last December's devastating tsunami.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.
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