Indonesia. The longstanding conflict in the province of
Papua in western New Guinea was once again reminded when
five soldiers were killed in a demonstration against US
mining company Freeport McMoRan.
In protest, the Indonesia government called home its ambassador
from Canberra after Australia issued multi-year so-called
protection visas to 42 Papuans who claimed to have been
harassed by the Indonesian army. On the other hand, in an
old hearth several hundred miles farther west, the province
of Aceh in northern Sumatra, there was mostly optimism.
After decades of refuge in Sweden, the separatist guerrilla
returned GAM's political leader to his home country to take
part in the peaceful political process.
In July, after a long debate, Parliament adopted the law
granting Aceh increased self-government. GAM leaders were
disappointed that the law during the treatment had been
watered down so much that, according to them, it did not
fully live up to the spirit of the 2005 peace agreement.
Human rights groups were also dissatisfied that the
province's newly established human rights tribunal was not
given the right to try out abuses committed during the civil
war. But peace lasted, and in December, the former guerrilla
leader Irwandi Yusuf was elected provincial governor in the
first election in Indonesia where the candidates did not have to
represent national parties.
CountryAAH, another old conflict echoed when three Christian peasants
were executed on the island of Sulawesi for participating in
anti-Muslim riots in 2000. The arche buses triggered violent
protests in several parts of the country and the executions
were described as scapegoats that were in no way responsible
for the violence against Muslims. The theory was also put
forward that they were executed to silence the criticism of
those upset that several Muslims were sentenced to death for
the Bali terrorist attacks in 2002.
Former dictator Suharto was probably finally rescued from
prosecution for corruption when the Prosecutor's Office
decided to close the investigation due to the president's
ill health. His son Hutomo Mandala Putra, called Tommy, who
in 2002 was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the murder
of a judge, was released after just four years following a
Islamist leader Abu Bakar Baasyir not only regained
freedom; he was completely cleansed by the Supreme Court. He
was sentenced to 26 months in prison for participating in
the Bali attacks in 2002, when 202 people were killed,
including six Swedes. Australia, which lost 88 citizens in
the terrorist act, objected to the release.
In February 2006, President Yudhoyono met with his
counterpart from East Timor Xanana Gusmao for a summit that
paved the way for a normalization of relations between the
two countries. This happened after a UN report on
Indonesia's 25 years of occupation of East Timor made
Indonesian security forces aware of the deaths of 180,000
A major earthquake hit Java in May, leaving 6,000 dead
and 200,000 homeless.
Indonesia commented on the Pope's comments on Islam at
his speech in Regensburg in September 2006. Yudhoyono
characterized the Pope's remarks as unwise and abusive, but
at the same time urged his countrymen to respond with
cunning, restraint and patience in this sensitive matter.
A public prosecutor filed suit against former President
Suharto in early 2007 for stealing $ 440 million. US $ from
educational funds during its 30-year reign.
In September, the world's 8 largest tropical timber
producers: Brazil, Cameroon, Congo, Costa Rica, Gabon,
Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea held a summit in
New York. They account for 80% of deforestation. Indonesia
had called on the countries in advance for a joint
diplomatic initiative in the face of increasing climate
change. In December, Indonesia hosted the UNFCCC's COP-13
conference in Bali. In July 2010, Indonesia agreed to a
three-year ban on deforestation after Norway had announced
financial aid worth $ 1 billion. US $.
In late 2007, Indonesia signed a free trade agreement
The July 2009 presidential election was won by the
incumbent president, Yudhoyono with 60.8% of the vote.
Megawati Sukarnoputri had to settle for 26.8%. A decrease of
14% from 2004 where she also stood.
In January 2010, former dictator Suharto died at the age
In December 2010, police arrested Abu Bakar Bashir,
chairman of the Indonesia Mujahedeen Council (MMI). In June
2011, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for supporting
a jihadi training camp in Aceh. Bashir was sentenced to
prison sentences in 2003 and 2004 for interference in
In 2012, the UN Human Rights Council issued a series of
recommendations to improve the human rights situation in
Indonesia. The government chose to follow a large number of
the recommendations, giving hope for a strengthening of
democracy in the country. However, it would not follow the
recommendations of Irian Jaya, where security forces
conducted a major offensive in May-September that cost
dozens of people their lives.
Former guerrilla leaders Zaini Abdullah and Muzakir Manaf
took up the post of governor and deputy governor in Aceh
province in June after winning the local elections in April
2012. Aceh's new Islamic government began introducing parts
of Sharia law - including around dress. In the same way as
the governments of i.a. France and Denmark have implemented
legislation on clothing. In September, a 16-year-old
teenager committed suicide after being arrested by Sharia
police and subsequently accused in several newspapers of
being a prostitute. At the same time, the Christian minority
was in several cases subjected to attacks.