West Papua Liberation Army launched deadliest attack on military this year, while security forces killed East Indonesia Mujahideen militant group leader. In West Papua province, dozens of militants from separatist armed group West Papua Liberation Army 2 Sept attacked military post in Kisor village in Maybrat district, killing four soldiers and injuring two in deadliest attack in region this year; group same day claimed responsibility for attack. Security forces subsequently arrested two suspects and 5 Sept reportedly engaged in gunfight with group in Maybart’s East Aifat sub-district. In Papua province, West Papua National Liberation Army 26 Sept reportedly killed member of Mobile Brigade forces in Kiwirok, Pegunungan Bintang regency, in shootout that injured two others. International rights group TAPOL 16 Sept published report accusing govt of using COVID-19 as pretext to crackdown on Papuan civil society groups and human rights defenders. UN Special Rapporteur on Situation of Human Rights Defenders Mary Lawlor 20 Sept urged govt to provide adequate medical care to imprisoned pro-independence Papuan activist Victor Yeimo, who was arrested in May 2021, amid reports of his deteriorating health. Separately, security forces 18 Sept killed leader of Islamic State-affiliated East Indonesia Mujahideen militant group and another militant in shootout on Sulawesi island.
A dispute over a flag in Aceh is testing the limits of autonomy, irritating Indonesia’s central government, heightening ethnic tensions, reviving a campaign for the division of the province and raising fears of violence as the 2014 national elections approach.
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono needs to act more firmly against institutions and officials that defy national court rulings or his inaction risks prolonging local conflicts.
The only measure likely to halt violence in Indonesia’s Papua province in the short term is a major overhaul of security policy.
Almost ten years after the 2002 Bali bombing, Indonesian extremists are weak and divided but still finding partners for new operations.
Election monitors should begin deployment to Aceh long before the 9 April election to deter intimidation.
Despite years of investment in community policing, the Indonesian police remain deeply distrusted by the people they are supposed to serve.
This week on War & Peace, Olga Oliker and Hugh Pope discuss with cultural historian and author David van Reybrouck his new book on the legacy of Dutch colonialism in Indonesia and his parallel work on improving the functioning of democracy.
Lecture by Sidney Jones at International Policy Studies program of Stanford University, 5 December 2012.
Originally published in The Interpreter
Originally published in The Jakarta Globe