Indonesian Conflicts (1976 - )


Aceh Conflict (1976 - )
After a decade of increasing grievances against the centralist tendencies of the Suharto-government, the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) started a military campaign in 1976 for the independence of the province in the far northeast of the Indonesian archipelago. After near defeat in 1979, GAM regained strength with Libyan support and the heaviest fighting occurred during the late 1980s when the Indonesian military intensified its violent counter-insurgency policies. The devastating tsunami in December 2004 effectively destroyed Aceh’s infrastructure and severely reduced the operational capabilities of GAM. This weakening led to a signed peace agreement in August 2005, facilitated by the Finish NGO CMI Peace Negotiations.

Indonesia-Moluccas Conflict (1999-2002)
The fall of Suharto in 1997 sparked off a number of conflicts across Indonesia. In the Moluccas region, the administrative division was divided into Moluccas and North Moluccas, thereby exacerbating a conflict characterised by communal and sectarian divisions. In part these divisions were a result of an official government transmigration programme running from late 1960s onwards that spurred conflict over resources, including land. Faith-based militias were generally responsible for the fighting from 1999 until 2002, including Laskar Jihad, and human rights abuses were committed by both sides. Opportunistic crime was also responsible for of the violence. The military campaign by Lashkar Islam was aimed to displacing Christian residents. One such event was the expulsion of the Christian residents of the Banda Islands in April 1999. The conflict ended with the signing of the Malino II Accord on 13 February 2002.

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