9. Netherlands/Dutch East Indies (1927-1949)

 

Pre-Crisis Phase (July 4, 1927-August 16, 1945): Achmed Sukarno established the Indonesian National Party (Partai Nasional Indonesia - PNI) on July 4, 1927.

Crisis Phase (August 17, 1945-October 12, 1945):  Achmed Sukarno and Mohammed Hatta proclaimed the independence of the Dutch East Indies, and established the Republic of Indonesia on August 17, 1945. The South East Asia Command (SEAC) ordered the deployment of 1,000 British troops to maintain order on the island of Java on September 29, 1945. On October 1, 1945, the Dutch government announced that it would not negotiate with Achmed Sukarno regarding Indonesia’s independence. Dutch government troops were deployed in the territories on October 2, 1945. The Dutch government offered autonomy to Indonesian nationalists on October 12, 1945.

Conflict Phase (October 13, 1945-October 14, 1946): The Indonesian People’s Army, led by Achmed Sukarno and Mohammed Hatta, declared war against occupying British and Dutch government troops on October 13, 1945. British troops and Indonesian nationalists clashed in Java and Sumatra from November 10, 1945 to February 16, 1946, resulting in the deaths of 263 British soldiers. Indonesian nationalists rejected the Dutch government’s autonomy proposal on November 6, 1945. The League of Arab States (LAS) expressed support for Indonesian independence on April 6, 1946. The parties agreed to a suspension of military hostilities on October 14, 1946. Some 10,000 individuals, including 600 British soldiers, were killed, and some 215,000 individuals were displaced during the conflict.

Post-Conflict Phase (October 15, 1946-December 29, 1946):  Lord Killearn of Britain facilitated negotiations between Netherlands and Indonesian nationalist representatives, and the parties preliminarily agreed to the Linggadjati Agreement on November 15, 1946. British troops completed their withdrawal from the Dutch East Indies on November 29, 1946.

Conflict Phase (December 30, 1946-March 25, 1947):  Dutch government troops resumed military hostilities against Indonesian nationalists in northeast Sumatra on December 30, 1946.  Dutch and Indonesian nationalist representatives formally signed the Linggadjati Agreement in Batavia (Jakarta) on March 25, 1947, which provided for a cessation of military hostilities and the establishment of the United States of Indonesia consisting of the Republic of Indonesia (Java, Madura, Sumatra) and Borneo. Some 5,000 individuals were killed during the conflict.

Post-Conflict Phase (March 26, 1947-July 19, 1947):  The Dutch government recognized West Borneo as an autonomous state within the United States of Indonesia on May 1, 1947. The Dutch government presented five proposals concerning the implementation of the Linggadjati Agreement to Indonesian representatives on May 27, 1947, but the proposals were rejected by the Indonesians on June 8, 1947. The U.S. government urged that the interim Indonesian government accept the Dutch government proposals, and offered economic assistance to the interim Indonesian government on June 27, 1947. The Indonesians accepted most of the Dutch proposals on July 8, 1947, but the Dutch government demanded that the Indonesian government order a ceasefire on July 9, 1947. The Indonesian government rejected the demand on July 16, 1947. The Dutch government ended negotiations with the Indonesians on July 19, 1947.

Conflict Phase (July 20, 1947-January 17, 1948):  Dutch government troops resumed military hostilities against Indonesian nationalists in central Java and Sumatra on July 20, 1947. The British government offered to mediate negotiations between the parties on July 21, 1947, but the mediation offer was rejected by the Netherlands. The Indonesian government appealed for assistance on July 22, 1947.  The governments of India and Australia referred the matter to United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Trygve Lie and the UN Security Council on July 30, 1947. The UN Security Council appealed for a ceasefire and peaceful negotiations on August 1, 1947. The U.S. government offered to facilitate negotiations between Dutch and Indonesian representatives on August 1, 1947. The parties ordered a cessation of military hostilities on August 4-5, 1947, but military hostilities continued despite the ceasefire orders. Some 130 Dutch government soldiers and 1,000 Indonesians were killed between July 20 and August 20, 1947.  On August 25, 1947, the UN Security Council established a Good Offices Committee (GOC) consisting of representatives from Australia, Belgium, and the US to facilitate negotiations between Dutch and Indonesian representatives.  The UN Consular Commission, which consisted of the consuls of Australia, Belgium, China, France, and the U.S. in Batavia, established a military observation mission in Indonesia on September 1, 1947.  The UN military observation consisted of 55 military observers from Australia (15 personnel), Belgium (four personnel), U.S. (15 personnel), China (five personnel), France (six personnel), and Britain (10 personnel).  The UN Security Council appealed for a ceasefire on November 1, 1947. The UN good offices committee facilitated the signing of the Renville Agreement by the Netherlands and Indonesian nationalists on January 17, 1948, which provided for a cessation of military hostilities. Some 2,000 individuals were killed during the conflict.

Post-Conflict Phase (January 18, 1948-December 17, 1948):

Conflict Phase (December 18, 1948-August 10, 1949): Dutch government troops resumed military hostilities against Indonesian nationalists on December 18-19, 1948. The U.S. government suspended economic assistance to the Dutch East Indies. The League of Arab States (LAS) demanded that the Netherlands cease its military hostilities against the Indonesians on December 22, 1948. The UN Security Council appealed to the Netherlands for a ceasefire on December 24, 1948, but the Netherlands ignored the ceasefire appeal. Dutch troops gained control of the island of Java on December 25, 1948. The UN Security Council disbanded the UN Good Offices Committee (GOC) on January 28, 1949, and established the United Nations Commission on Indonesia (UNCI) to mediate negotiations between Dutch and Indonesian representatives (UNCI assumed control of the UN military observation mission in Indonesia). The UNCI, which consisted of representatives from Australia, Belgium, and the U.S., mediated negotiations in Batavia from April 14 to August 1, 1949, and the parties agreed to a ceasefire that went into effect on August 10, 1949. Some 300 Dutch government soldiers and 3,000 Indonesians were killed during the conflict.

Post-Conflict Phase (August 11, 1949-December 27, 1949): The United Nations Commission on Indonesia (UNCI) mediated negotiations at the Hague, Netherlands from August 23 to November 2, 1949. Dutch and Indonesian representatives signed an agreement on November 2, 1949, which provided for independence for Indonesia. Indonesia formally achieved its independence from the Netherlands as the United States of Indonesia on December 27, 1949. Some 63 UN military observers monitored the demobilization of Dutch government troops from the region until April 3, 1951.  The UNCI was disbanded on April 3, 1951.

[Sources: Adams 1964; Brecher and Wilkenfeld, 1997, 205-207; Brogan, 1992, 202-210; Butterworth, 1976, 46-50; Clodfelter, 1992, 1112; Donelan and Grieve, 1973, 51-55; Facts on File, July 20-26, 1947; James, 1990, 185-189; Jessup, 1998, 308-312; Keesing's Record of World Events, March 30-April 6, 1946, August 30-September 6, 1947, January 15-22, 1949, June 24-30, 1950, August 26-September 2, 1950; Survey of International Affairs (SIA), 1947-1948, 388-414; Tillema, 1991, 244-245; Wainhouse, 1966, 293-323; Weisburd, 1997, 68-70.]

 

Selected Bibliography

Ray, J. K. 1967. Transfer of Power in Indonesia, 1942-1949. Bombay, India: Manaktalas.