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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on September 5th, 2008
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

IOM Press Briefing Notes
Friday 5 September 2008

INDONESIA – Religious Teachers Carry Ramadan Message of Community Policing to Aceh – IOM is working with the Ar-Raniry State Islamic Institute and the Aceh Provincial Police (Polda NAD) through the Holy month of Ramadhan to promote community policing in the Indonesia’s northernmost province through the use of Islamic cultural values unique to the area.

The 15-day Safari Kemitraan Ramadhan (Ramadhan Partnership Road show), which kicks off today, is funded by the European Commission and the Royal Netherlands Embassy, and aims to inform villagers about the value of community policing using religious messages.

IOM is providing logistical support, transport and printed materials for the team of religious teachers from the Institute and police officers implementing the scheme.

“Communities in Aceh will benefit from all the positive values embodied in community policing. The roadshow will help to endorse the program and will be an effective tool to build partnerships with Acehnese across the province,” says Dr. Abdul Rani, Msi, a professor of Ar-Raniry.

Located at the northernmost tip of the island of Sumatra, Aceh is also known colloquially as Mecca’s Veranda. For hundreds of years it served as the final port of call for pilgrims making the long sea voyage from Indonesia, the most populous Moslem nation on earth, to Mecca. It is the most devout area in Indonesia, and proud of its Islamic heritage.

Aceh Senior Police Commissioner Setyanto says he supports the use of a culturally sensitive approach to informing a public that is deeply suspicious of the police. Aceh was the scene of a violent, decades-long separatist conflict that drew to a close in 2005, with the signing of a peace agreement between rebels and the central government.

{As it happens, Aceh is also home of large oil fields with international oil companies having had involvement here. Aceh once was sponsored from the outside in its attempt of becoming independent from Indonesia – thus the announcement and the backing are quite interesting.}

IOM is in the midst of a two year programme to training more than 7,200 of the roughly 9,200 police officers in Aceh in community policing and human rights. The trainings aim to reduce conflict and underpin a return to peace and security in the province.

For further information, please contact Jihan Labetubun at IOM Jakarta. Tel. +62 8111907028. Email:  jlabetubun at iom.int style=”text-align: center”>

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