Authorities 4 Sept reported police shot dead two suspected militants and arrested five while seeking perpetrators of late Aug shooting of two traffic police in West Java, believed to be members of Islamic State (ISIS)-linked Jamaah Ansharut Daulah. Local media reported up to 79 people arrested after demonstrating peacefully in provincial capital Jayapura 4 Sept calling for self-determination; students protested 24 Sept supporting efforts to take West Papua issue to UN General Assembly, 67 reportedly arrested. Earthquake and tsunami that struck Sulawesi island 28 Sept killed at least 844 people, with fears death toll could reach thousands.
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.
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
Originally published in Myanmar Times