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  • Publication Date: 02-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Indonesian communities are increasingly turning to violence to retaliate against the police for abuses, real or perceived. Some 40 attacks on police stations and personnel since August 2010 are clear evidence that community policing, the centrepoint of the police reform agenda, is not working; police are too quick to shoot, usually with live ammunition; and little progress has been made toward police accountability. In the absence of urgent reforms and mechanisms to address local grievances, public hostility is likely to grow. Police are supposed to be helping prevent conflict but too often they are contributing to its outbreak.
  • Topic: Security, Human Rights, Law Enforcement
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: A spate of violence in Papua in May and June 2012 exposed the lack of a coherent government strategy to address this multidimensional conflict. Shootings of non-Papuans in the provincial capital Jayapura in June, likely involving pro-independence militants, were followed by the death of one of those militants at police hands, highlighting the political dimension of the problem. In Wamena, a rampage by soldiers after the death of a comrade shows the depth of distrust between local communities and the army, and the absence of mechanisms to deal with crises. The shooting of five Papuans by newly arrived members of a paramilitary police unit (Brigade Mobile, Brimob) in a remote gold-mining area of Paniai highlights the violence linked to Papua's vast resource wealth and rent-seeking by the security apparatus with little oversight from Jakarta. While these events are still under investigation, they signal that unless the Yudhoyono government can address these very different aspects of the conflict, things may get worse. An overhaul of security policy would help.
  • Topic: Security, Political Violence, Development, Ethnic Conflict, Post Colonialism
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Southeast Asia, Papua
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: A controversial bill defining the role and functions of Indonesian intelligence agencies has top priority in the Indonesian parliament. It was originally scheduled for enactment in July 2011 but will now be delayed until September or October. It would be better to put the bill on hold even longer until there is a more comprehensive assessment of security needs and how to address them.
  • Topic: Security, Democratization, Development, Intelligence
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: More than ten years after the formation of Timor-Leste's army and the demobilisation of the guerrilla force that fought for independence, the struggle continues about how to pay tribute to the veterans. The increasingly wealthy state has bought off the threat once posed by most dissidents with an expensive cash benefits scheme and succeeded in engaging most veterans' voices in mainstream politics. This approach has created a heavy financial burden and a complicated process of determining who is eligible that will create new tensions even as it resolves others. A greater challenge lies in containing pressures to give them disproportionate political influence and a formal security role. A careful balance will need to be struck between paying homage to heroes while allowing a younger generation of leaders to grow up to replace them. Failure could block the generational transfer of power necessary for the state's long-term stability.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Democratization, Economics, Insurgency
  • Political Geography: Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The discovery in late February 2010 of a jihadi training camp in Aceh came as a surprise in three ways. It revealed a major mutation in Indonesian jihadi ranks: a new coalition had emerged that rejected both Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), the best-known such organisation in the region, and the more violent splinter group led until his death in September 2009 by Noordin Top. It had chosen Aceh as a base, despite the antipathy of Acehnese to radical Islam. And it was led by Dulmatin, one of South East Asia's most wanted terrorists, whom officials in both Indonesia and the Philippines believed was in Mindanao.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, Security, Terrorism, International Affairs, Armed Struggle, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 03-2009
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: Tensions in Aceh are high as elections approach, although they have receded somewhat from a peak in mid-February. The murders of three former combatants of the Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka, GAM), other shootings and numerous grenade attacks over the last two months – all with unidentified perpetrators – have set the province on edge, and there remains a risk of sporadic, low-level violence before and after general elections on 9 April. Disputes over the results, with 44 parties competing for seats in district, provincial and national legislatures using a new and complicated system of voting, are also likely. There is little danger in the short term of violence escalating out of control, let alone a return to armed conflict, but the underlying causes of the tensions are not just election-related and need to be addressed if peace is to be preserved in the long term.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Political Violence, Democratization
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Asia, Australia/Pacific, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 05-2007
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: In late March 2007, arrests by Densus 88, the police counter-terror unit, netted seven detainees in Central and East Java (an eighth was killed); a huge cache of explosives and weaponry; and documents that seemed to suggest a new military structure for Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), the region's largest jihadist organisation. The arrests followed directly from information obtained from operations in Poso, Central Sulawesi, in late January.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Taiwan, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Indonesian police are closing in on Noordin Mohammed Top, South East Asia's most wanted terrorist. In a dramatic pre-dawn raid on 29 April 2006 in Wonosobo, Central Java, they shot and killed two members of his inner circle and arrested two others. If and when they capture Noordin, they will have put the person most determined to attack Western targets out of commission. But the problem of Noordin's support structure will still have to be tackled.
  • Topic: Security, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Australia/Pacific, Southeast Asia
  • Publication Date: 05-2006
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The legacy of “losing” Timor-Leste (East Timor) continues to haunt Indonesia, affecting attitudes toward Aceh and Papua, heightening suspicions about foreign intervention, complicating relations with Australia and perpetuating fears for territorial integrity. Despite this legacy, the shared land border has been mostly peaceful: the policy focus there should be as much on establishing the infrastructure for legal trade as on improving security.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Security
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Australia, Southeast Asia, Papua
  • Publication Date: 11-2005
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: The Muslim-majority region of southern Thailand continues to experience a relatively low-level insurgency but a state of emergency imposed on three provinces is no solution to the conflict that has claimed more than 1,000 lives since January 2004. The decree has deepened mistrust of the security forces, worsened public discontent with the government's approach to the insurgency and heightened the risk of human rights abuses. Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra should take immediate steps to moderate the decree or risk plunging the area into worse violence.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Religion
  • Political Geography: Thailand, Southeast Asia