32. Indonesia/Aceh (1949-present)

 

Pre-Crisis Phase (December 27, 1949-September 19, 1953): Indonesia, formerly Dutch East Indies, achieved its independence from the Netherlands on December 27, 1949. On January 1, 1950, the Indonesian government issued a law granting Aceh full autonomy as a province within the country.  On August 8, 1950, the Indonesian government decided to abolish the Aceh province and incorporated Aceh into the province of North Sumatra.  The Aceh province was formally dissolved on January 23, 1951.

Crisis Phase (September 20, 1953-June 30, 1989): Daud Beureueh declared Aceh’s independence from Indonesia on September 20, 1953. The government granted Aceh “special status” in 1959.   Aceh (northern Sumatra) nationalists led by Hasan di Toro launched a rebellion against the government in October 1976.  Hasan di Toro declared Aceh’s independence from the Indonesia government on December 4, 1976. On the same day, Hasan di Toro established the Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka – GAM) to promote Aceh independence from Indonesia.  More than 100 Aceh rebels received military training in Libya from 1986 to 1989.

Conflict Phase (July 1, 1989-December 9, 2002): The Aceh-Sumatra National Liberation Front (ASNLF) rebelled against the government beginning in mid-1989. Aceh rebels received military assistance (training) from Libya. Government troops launched a military offensive against ASNLF rebels in 1990. Government troops and Aceh rebels clashed near Kangsa on June 4-18, 1990, resulting in the deaths of three government soldiers and nine Aceh rebels. Government troops killed seven Aceh rebels in North Aceh district on July 4-5, 1991. The US Committee for Refugees (USCR) appealed to the Indonesian government to cease military operations against Aceh rebels on January 21, 1999. Some 41 individuals were killed by Indonesian troops during demonstrations in Krueng Geukueh in the Aceh province on May 3, 1999. Aceh rebels killed nine government police and soldiers on May 29, 1999. Aceh rebels killed 10 civilians and three government soldiers on June 21-24, 1999. Twelve individuals were killed in clashes on July 12, 1999. Aceh rebels killed three government soldiers in Ring Krueng on July 19, 1999. Government troops killed some 50 individuals in Beutong sub-district on July 23, 1999. The government established the 27-member Independent Investigation Commission on Violence in Aceh (Komisi Independen Pengusutan Tindak Kekerasan di Aceh – KIPTKA) on July 30, 1999. Government troops and Aceh rebels clashed near Pidie on August 5, 1999, resulting in the deaths of nine rebels. Some 100,000 individuals demonstrated in support of a referendum on October 23, 1999. The European Union (EU) appealed for peaceful negotiations on November 25, 1999. Government police and Aceh rebels clashed on December 18-21, 1999, resulting in the deaths of four policemen and two rebels. Government troops and Aceh rebels clashed in the village of Ulee Rubek on December 27-28, 1999, resulting in the deaths of three rebels. The Henry Dunant Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HDCHD) facilitated negotiations between government and Aceh representatives in Geneva, Switzerland beginning in January 2000. Government troops and Aceh rebels clashed in the province on January 25-26, 2000, resulting in the death of six rebels and one policeman. Government troops and Aceh rebels clashed throughout the province on February 8, 2000, resulting in the deaths of 15 individuals. Government troops and Aceh rebels clashed in northern Aceh on May 18, 2000, resulting in the deaths of eight rebels.  Government and Aceh representatives signed a three-month ceasefire agreement (“Joint Understanding for a Humanitarian Pause”) facilitated by the HDCHD in Geneva on May 12, 2000, and the ceasefire went into effect on June 2, 2000. Government troops and Aceh rebels clashed in northern Aceh province on July 3, 2000, resulting in the deaths of three government soldiers and one rebel. Aceh rebels killed three government policemen near the village of Serambang village on September 8, 2000. Government troops and Aceh rebels clashed in the Peureulak district on September 16, 2000, resulting in the deaths of two individuals. Government and Aceh representatives agreed to an extension of the ceasefire on September 24, 2000. Government police and Aceh rebels clashed in west Aceh province on October 14, 2000, resulting in the deaths of two rebels and one government policemen. On January 9, 2001, government and Aceh representatives agreed to a one-month extension of the ceasefire beginning on January 15, 2001. Government troops and Aceh rebels clashed on January 10, 2001, resulting in the deaths of two government soldiers and three rebels. Government troops and Aceh rebels clashed in northern Aceh on January 12, 2001, resulting in the deaths of two government soldiers and one civilian. Government troops and Aceh rebels clashed on March 3, 2001, resulting in the deaths of seven individuals. Aceh rebels killed seven civilians, and government police killed three rebels near Banda Aceh on March 16-17, 2001. Government and Aceh representatives signed a memorandum-of-understanding (MOU) on May 12, 2001, which provided for an extension of the ceasefire. Aceh rebels killed a government policeman and three civilians in Banda Aceh on June 14, 2001. Government troops and Aceh rebels clashed in eastern Aceh province on September 7, 2001, resulting in the deaths of one government soldier and two rebels. Some 1,500 individuals were killed during clashes between government troops and Aceh rebels in 2001. Abdullah Syafei, a military leader of the GAM, and six other Aceh rebels were killed by government police in the Sigli region on January 23, 2002. Government troops killed eleven Aceh rebels in eastern Aceh on March 30-31, 2002. Representatives of the government and GAM held a seventh round of negotiaions in Geneva beginning on May 8, 2002. Government troops and Aceh rebels clashed in Bireuen district on May 13, 2002, resulting in the deaths of three government soldiers. Government troops killed two Aceh rebels in Pidie district on May 13, 2002. The EU appealed for negotiations between the parties on May 20, 2002. Government troops killed 13 Aceh rebels in Bireun on July 26, 2002. Government troops killed six Aceh rebels near Banda Aceh on October 26, 2002. Representatives of the government and GAM signed a cease-fire agreement facilitated by the HDCHD in Geneva on December 9, 2002. Some 12,000 individuals were killed, and some 200,000 individuals were internally-displaced during the conflict.

Post-Conflict Phase (December 10, 2002-May 18, 2003): The HDCHD established the Aceh Monitoring Mission (HDC-AMM) to monitor the ceasefire agreement beginning on December 28, 2002.  The HDC-AMM consisted of some 52 monitors from Thailand (43), Philippines (6), India (2), and Norway (1).  Japan, US, and the European Union (EU) facilitated negotiations between representatives of the government and GAM in Tokyo.  Philippines and Thailand monitors withdrew from the Aceh province on May 15, 2003.  Representatives of the government and GAM ended negotiations in Tokyo on May 17, 2003.  President Megawati Sukarnoputri declared martial law and a state-of-emergency in Aceh province on May 18, 2003.

Conflict Phase (May 19, 2003-August 15, 2005): Government troops launched a military offensive against Aceh rebels on May 19, 2003.  Government troops and Aceh rebels clashed on December 15-16, 2003, resulting in the deaths of three rebels and three civilians.  President Megawati Sukarnoputri lifted martial law in Aceh province on May 19, 2004, but a state-of-emergency remained in effect in the province.  The non-governmental organization Crisis Management Initiative (CMI) mediated negotiations between representatives of the government and GAM beginning in January 2005.  Government troops killed seven Aceh rebels in Bireun District on February 6, 2005.  The government lifted the state of emergency in Aceh on May 18, 2005.  On August 15, 2005, representatives of the government and GAM signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) mediated by former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, representing the CMI, in Helsinki.  The EU established the Initial Monitoring Presence (IMP) in Aceh province beginning on August 15, 2005.  The EU IMP consisted of 82 personnel headed by Pieter C. Feith of the Netherlands.  Some 3,000 individuals were killed and some 50,000 individuals were internally displaced during the conflict.

Post-Conflict Phase (August 16, 2005-February 8, 2010): The EU IMP was disbanded on September 15, 2005.  On September 9, 2005, the Council of the European Union established the Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM) to monitor the demobilization/disarmament process beginning on September 15, 2005.  The EU AMM consisted of 230 monitors from several EU countries, Norway, Switzerland, Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand headed by Pieter C. Feith of the Netherlands.  The demobilization/disarmament process was completed on December 31, 2005.  Government troops and police completed their withdrawal from the Aceh province on January 5, 2006.  Regional elections were held in Aceh on December 11, 2006, and Irwandi Yusuf, a former GAM leader, was elected governor with 38 percent of the vote.  The European Union (EU) sent six election experts, 32 long-term observers, and 50 short-term observers from 21 EU member-states, Norway, Switzerland, and Canadaled  by Glyn Ford of the U.K. to monitor the regional elections from October 30 to January 10, 2007.  A second round of regional elections was held in the districts of Aceh Barat and Aceh Barat Daya on March 4, 2007.  The EU sent 14 long-term observers from several EU member-states, Norway, Switzerland, and Canada to monitor the regional elections from February 12 to March 5, 2007.  The EU AMM was disbanded on December 15, 2006.  Irwandi Yusuf was inaugurated as governor on February 8, 2007.  A mob of several dozen individuals attacked the offices of the Aceh Transitional Commission in the Atu Lintang area of on March 1, 2008, resulting in the deaths of four individuals.  Hasan di Tiro, founder of the Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka – GAM), returned to Aceh after 30 years in exile on October 11, 2008.

Post-Crisis Phase (February 9, 2010-present):  Aceh police killed two suspected militants near a road block on March 12, 2010.  Hasan di Tiro, founder of the Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka – GAM), died in Banda Aceh on June 3, 2010.  Regional elections were held on April 9, 2012, and Zaini Abdullah of the Partai Aceh (PA) was elected governor with 56 percent of the vote.  The Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) sent 11 observers to monitor the regional elections from March 18 to April 18, 2012.  Zaini Abdullah was inaugurated as governor on June 25, 2012.

[Sources: Agence France-Presse (AFP), May 13, 2002, May 20, 2002, May 26, 2002, June 3, 2002, December 16, 2003; Amnesty International (AI) press release, August 4, 1999, September 26, 2000; Arnold et al., 1991, 144; Asian Network for Free Elections (ANFREL) report, May 3, 2012; Associated Press (AP), June 1, 1999, June 26, 1999, July 13, 1999, August 6, 1999, January 26, 2000, February 10, 2000, May 12, 2000, June 2, 2000, September 8, 2000, September 17, 2000, October 15, 2000, September 8, 2001, October 29, 2002, November 19, 2002, December 5, 2002, December 9, 2002, May 13, 2003, May 25, 2003, July 8, 2003, February 7, 2005, August 15, 2005, September 12, 2005; British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), February 9, 2000, May 12, 2000, November 19, 2002, December 28, 2002, May 18, 2003, May 28, 2003, November 7, 2003, November 17, 2003, November 26, 2003, February 24, 2004, May 13, 2004, May 19, 2004, February 7, 2005, June 8, 2005, August 15, 2005, August 22, 2005, September 14, 2005, December 14, 2005, January 5, 2006, December 11, 2006, December 15, 2006, February 8, 2007, March 12, 2010, April 9, 2012;  Christian Science Monitor (CSM), July 24, 2002; Degenhardt, 1988, 161; European Union (EU) Council Secretariat, September 15, 2005; Far Eastern Economic Review (FEER), June 28, 1990, July 25, 1991; Human Rights Watch (HRW), September 25, 2000; Kyodo News Service (KNS), July 19, 1999, October 23, 1999, May 11, 2003, May 19, 2003; New York Times (NYT), May 12, 2000, April 28, 2003; Reuters, May 6, 1999, May 9, 1999, May 30, 1999, May 31, 1999, June 25, 1999, July 13, 1999, November 25, 1999, December 21, 1999, December 28, 1999, May 12, 2000, July 3, 2000, January 10, 2001, January 11, 2001, January 13, 2001, March 4, 2001, March 18, 2001, June 15, 2001, January 23, 2002, April 2, 2002, May 9, 2002, July 26, 2002, October 26, 2002, November 26, 2002, November 27, 2002, December 4, 2002, December 9, 2002, January 4, 2003, January 10, 2003, April 8, 2003, April 19, 2003, May 14, 2003, May 18, 2003, May 19, 2003, May 22, 2003, June 14, 2003, June 18, 2003, June 29, 2003, March 2, 2008, September 24, 2008, October 11, 2008; The Guardian, January 11, 2001; U.S. Committee for Refugees (USCR)press release, January 21, 1999; Washington Post, January 28, 2005.]