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Conflict Transformation and Social Reconciliation: The Case of Aceh, Indonesia

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Abstract

This paper will discuss conflict transformation in Aceh and analyzes it in the international, structural, actor, issues, and personal contexts. The data show that the five contexts are supportive of the transformation of conflict from an armed rebellion and peaceful referendum to social reconciliation. The Aceh case shows also the complexity of the reconciliation that includes three parties: the GAM (Free Aceh Movement), which emphasizes politico-economic redistribution; the Islamic community, which demands the impelementation of Syariah (Islamic laws); and the central government, which determines to preserve the territorial integrity. The agreement and new law were impelemented and resulted in compromise and consensus in socio-political spheres in the new Aceh.

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... It is not to overlook the past, but to convert the heart-rending experience into forgiveness. Sujatmiko (2012) noted the complex condition of Aceh due to reconciliation after the local conflict. At least, three parties' interests were intertwined in this process. ...
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This field research using participant observation critically analyzed the post-war reconciliation between Aceh Province and the Indonesian Government. Special attention was paid to the violent incidents at Rumoh Geudong, Krueng Arakundoe, and Jambo Keupok. Besides, in-depth interviews with 16 informants who were engaged directly and indirectly on the problems to collect the data, followed by employing library research to sight the findings. The peace agreement was concluded by parties who hated each other. Contrarily, the government’s function as the developer of the post-understanding process was not shown substantially. This has further enhanced the new forms of violence carried out after the previous violence. This meant nothing to the power of peace itself. The reconciliation was not substantially successful but failed. The absence of which had an impact on the existence of war victims, particularly in rebuilding their psychological conditions. Human values during the 14 years of peace were not programmed in priority at all, which generated extensive sustainable peace. The collapse of the state’s responsibility to unravel all cases of dehumanization had an impact on the increasingly dominating pragmatic value, meaning that the value of the existence of war victims was minimal, even closer to nothing.
... Tugas BRA adalah menjalankan misi reintegrasi dan program-program penguatan perdamaian, termasuk penyediaan tanah pertanian. Anggota lembaga nonstruktural ini terdiri atas perwakilan GAM, masyarakat sipil, lembaga swadaya masyarakat, birokrat, dan akademisi (Sujatmiko, 2012). Namun, keberadaan BRA baru diakui oleh peraturan daerah Aceh (qanun) pada tahun 2015. ...
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The signing of the Helsinki Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in 2005 marked the end of the Indonesian government's decades-long conflict with the Free Aceh Movement. One of the deals in the Helsinki MoU is to provide farming land to former combatants, amnestied political prisoners, and conflict victims as a form of reintegration and livelihood restoration. However, this activity did not run effectively for a dozen years after the peace deal due to the absence of regulations and authorities in its implementation. Based on this background, this paper examines the role of Agrarian Reform on the policy of agricultural land provision to the people related to the Aceh conflict. This research used a qualitative approach, and relied on observational data and literature review. Agrarian Reform can be an alternative strategy for post-conflict peacebuilding. The concept of asset reform and access reform offered in the Agrarian Reform can be adopted to realize the allocation of agricultural land by the mandate of the Helsinki MoU. The main problems found so far are that there is no regulation regarding the granting of land rights in the law, authority, and several obstacles in its implementation. This paper also provides a crucial lesson that proper agrarian policy contributes to the prevention of recurring conflicts that have the potential to cause national disintegration. Intisari : Penandatanganan Momerandum of Understanding (MoU) Helsinki pada tahun 2005 menandai berakhirnya konflik pemerintah Indonesia dengan Gerakan Aceh Merdeka selama beberapa dekade. Salah satu kesepakatan di dalam MoU Helsinki adalah menyediakan tanah pertanian kepada mantan kombatan, tahanan politik yang memperoleh amnesti, dan korban konflik sebagai bentuk reintegrasi dan pemulihan penghidupan. Namun, kegiatan ini tidak berjalan secara efektif selama belasan tahun setelah perjanjian damai karena belum adanya regulasi dan kewenangan dalam pelaksanaannya. Berdasarkan latar belakang tersebut, tulisan ini mengkaji peran Reforma Agraria terhadap kebijakan penyediaan tanah pertanian untuk masyarakat yang berkaitan dengan konflik Aceh. Penelitian ini menggunakan pendekatan kualitatif, serta mengandalkan data observasi dan tinjauan literatur. Reforma Agraria dapat menjadi strategi alternatif pembangunan perdamaian pasca-konflik. Konsep penataan aset dan penataan akses yang ditawarkan di dalam Reforma Agraria dapat diadopsi untuk merealisasikan alokasi tanah pertanian sesuai amanah MoU Helsinki. Permasalahan-permasalahan utama yang ditemukan selama ini adalah belum adanya pengaturan mengenai pemberian hak atas tanah tersebut di dalam peraturan perundang-undangan, kewenangan, dan sejumlah hambatan dalam pelaksanaannya. Tulisan ini juga memberikan pelajaran penting bahwa kebijakan agraria yang tepat dapat berkontribusi terhadap pencegahan konflik berulang yang dapat berpotensi menyebabkan disintegrasi bangsa.
... Keberadaan kasus konflik yang cukup sering ini memberi dampak pada tidak terciptanya integrasi yang padu antara pemerintah, swasta, dan masyarakat. Hal ini semakin memberi suatu permasalahan ketika masih ada konflik di dalam masyarakat terkait perebutan sumberdaya agraria (Ardianto, 2016;Dhiaulhaq & McCarthy, 2020;Lestari, 2013 (Klitzsch, 2014;Sujatmiko, 2012 (Affandi, 2004;Coser, 1956;Parlevliet, 2015 ...
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Konflik pada dasarnya merupakan salah satu fenomena sosial yang selalu mewarnai dalam dinamika kehidupan masyarakat. Melalui kehadiran fenomena konflik memuculkan usaha penciptaan integrasi. Keberadaan konflik agraria yang bersifat laten di Desa Nglumut, Magelang, Jawa Tengah ini menjadi suatu hal yang patut diperhatikan lebih lanjut terutama dalam kaitannya dengan penciptaan integrasi. Konflik laten ini bermula dari keberadaan petani salak dan penambang pasir yang hidup berdampingan, namun memiliki permasalahan tersembunyi yang dikarenakan oleh keberadaan aktivitas penambangan. Aktivitas penambangan pasir dianggap merusak lingkungan dan mengancam keberadaan lahan pertaniaan milik petani salak. Menanggapi hal tersebut, keberadaan Komunitas Srimpi Urip ditujukan guna menjadi strategi rekonsiliasi konflik melalui mediasi antar kedua kelompok masyarakat yang berkonflik. Tidak hanya itu, Komunitas Srimpi Urip juga berfungsi sebagai basis awal dari pelestarian lingkungan dan upaya pemberdayaan ekonomi. Dengan adanya Komunitas Srimpi Urip ini, maka kiranya akan menyentuh pada aspek integrasi yang kuat di masyarakat Nglumut.
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1995 року ПЕРІОДИЧНІСТЬ: 6 разів на рік. ЗАСНОВНИКИ: Київський університет імені Бориса Грінченка (м. Київ); Український культурологічний центр (м. Маріуполь) ВИДАВЕЦЬ: Український культурологічний центр Друкується за рішенням Вченої ради Київського університету імені Бориса Грінченка (протокол № 2 від 28.02.2019 р.) Автор концепції, головний редактор: Володимир БІЛЕЦЬКИЙ, доктор технічних наук, професор, дійсний член НТШ Головний редактор: Олена АЛЕКСАНДРОВА, доктор філософських наук, професор Випусковий редактор: Галина ТИМОФЄЄВА
Chapter
In this chapter, I examine the case of Aceh during Indonesia’s democratic transition to explore how the dynamics of securitization and desecuritization occurred in the face of the separatist movement. This conflict was the longest separatist movement in the history of independent Indonesia. Altogether, the Acehnese liberation struggle lasted for forty years. In terms of fatalities, the case of Aceh demonstrated a high level of violence; during the whole period, between 10,000 and 30,000 people were killed (Crisis Management Initiative 2012: 9; Amnesty International 2013: 9; Pergub Aceh No. 70/2012: 62).
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This article aims to analyze the settlement of a prolonged conflict between the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) and the Indonesian Government through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of Helsinki that had implications on changing the law for Aceh. Some previous studies stated that Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) as a win-win solution has been working well and given a better chance to end the separatist conflict in Aceh. However, This article shows that MoU Helsinki only brings negative peace to Aceh, because its implementation through Law on Governing Aceh (LoGA) has reduced authorities of Aceh to govern itself and it does not transform the structure and relationship between Aceh and the Government of Indonesia to the balanced ones, although LoGA has provided opportunities for economic, social and political development in Aceh. The Peace agreement (MoU Helsinki) and LoGA were carried out and resulted in a compromise and consensus in the socio-political in Aceh. This study was conducted by using qualitative methods, the data obtained through primary sources and secondary sources. Keywords: Government of Indonesia, Conflict, Transformation, and Peace, Aceh
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The province of Aceh is located on the northern tip of the island of Sumatra in the Indonesian archipelago. Since 1976 it has been wracked by conflict between the Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka; GAM), which is seeking to establish an independent state, and the Indonesian security forces seeking to crush this bid. At the heart of the conflict are center/periphery relations and profound Acehnese alienation from Jakarta. These problems date back to promises made by Indonesia's first president, Sukarno, to give Aceh special status in recognition of its contribution to the struggle for Indonesian independence. The promises were broken almost immediately. Acehnese efforts to safeguard their strong regional and ethnic identity derived from Aceh's strict adherence to Islam and its history of having been an independent sultanate until the Dutch invasion in 1873 presented too much of a challenge to Sukarno's "secular" Indonesian nation-building project. They were also an obstacle to the highly centralized developmentalist ideology of his successor, President Suharto. Political grievances were further underscored by perceptions of economic exploitation since the mid-1970s and Jakarta's security approach to deal with the insurgency rather an addressing the reasons for the widespread alienation from Jakarta. This paper looks at the Acehnese conflict since 1976 specifically, the GAM insurgent movement. It presents a detailed ideological and organizational map of this national liberation movement in order to increase our understanding of its history, motivations, and organizational dynamics. Consequently this paper analyzes GAM's ideology, aims, internal structure, recruitment, financing, weapons procurement, and military capacity. Further, it discusses the inspiration AM has drawn from East Timor's successful struggle for independence with respect to its attitude toward negotiations as well as its broad political-military strategy and seeks to explain the dynamics and ultimately the collapse of the peace process between GAM and the Indonesian government. Although this paper looks at the history and evolution of GAM since 1976, the primary focus is on the recent past. The fall of Suharto not only allowed the Indonesian government to explore avenues other than force to resolve the Aceh conflict but also presented GAM with the opportunity to modify its strategy and transform itself into a genuinely popular movement. In fact, since 1998 the Aceh conflict has escalated as GAM poses a more serious challenge to the Indonesian state. The insurgents have been able to increase their active membership fivefold, expand from their traditional stronghold areas into the rest of Aceh, and successfully control between 70 and 80 percent of the province including local government through their shadow civil service structure. GAM has grown from a small, armed organization with an intellectual vanguard into a popular resistance movement. This transformation of GAM was the result of three key factors: first, the impact of Indonesia's counterinsurgency operations from 1989 to 1998 (conventionally, albeit incorrectly, referred to as a military operations zone); second, Jakarta's failure to ensure the implementation of special autonomy since January 2002 (coupled with the ineffectiveness and corruption of the provincial government); and third, the opportunity provided by the peace process from January 2000 to May 2003. The first two factors created powerful motives for the Acehnese population to join GAM: together they combined the desire to extract revenge for the brutality of the security forces with the alienation caused by the lack of significant change in the everyday life of the average Acehnese despite post-Suharto decentralization and democratization. The third factor created the space for GAM to broaden its strategy of guerrilla warfare on the ground to include political elements most importantly internationalization. It also provided GAM with legitimacy and a platform from which to advocate independence. And finally, the absence of Indonesian military pressure during the 2000-2001 Humanitarian Pause and the 2002-2003 Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (COHA) enabled GAM to introduce a number of organizational changes, recruit, train, and rearm, all of which strengthened its military capacity. The key to understanding GAM in the post-Suharto era and the movement's decisions, maneuvers, and statements during the three years of intermittent dialogue can be found in the exiled leadership's strategy of internationalization. Above all, this strategy shows that for GAM the negotiations were not a way to find common ground with Jakarta but a means to compel the international community to pressure Jakarta into ceding independence. For GAM the dialogue was about gaining world attention and support form the United States, the United Nations, and the European Union. Alongside deep-seated suspicion of Indonesian intentions and cease-fire violations by both sides, which created a destructive dynamic on the ground, this strategy of internationalization reveals why GAM did not opt for a symbolic act of disarmament during the COHA period and why it did not embrace regional autonomy tactically. Instead it increased both its membership and its arsenal during each cease-fire and used every opportunity to tell the people of Aceh that independence was imminent. Further underscored by the exiled leadership's belief that Indonesia is a failed state about to implode, internationalization goes a long way toward explaining by GAM refused to accept autonomy and refused to lay down its arms. This, among other issues, caused the peace process to collapse on May 18, 2003.
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This study examines the drafting and implementing of special autonomy laws for Aceh and Papua as part of the Indonesian government's broader response to secessionist challenges in both provinces. The background to the political decision to grant special autonomy to Aceh and Papua is examined while also presenting a detailed examination of each law. The objective of this analysis is to provide a case study for policymakers and academics seeking to understand the dynamics of separatism. The analysis seeks appropriate policy responses to the challenge of secessionist movements and outlines the conditions under which granting autonomy may or may not be conducive to addressing separatist conflict. As this study illustrates, special autonomy laws were drafted in Indonesia as a response to rapidly growing independence movements in Aceh and Papua that followed the collapse of the authoritarian regime of President Suharto in 1998. Responding to mounting violence, the government offered special autonomy laws in a bid to divert secessionist demands. This offer of "asymmetric" autonomy in fact contained significant and special concessions for Aceh and Papua. Special autonomy was the product of an opportune moment of Indonesia's democratic transition in which the government faced multiple crises and central authority was at a weak point. With pro-independence movements intensifying their pressure on Jakarta, the government was impelled to make major concessions as a way of staving off crisis and keeping the country together. It was not long, however, before the government was able to close down the political space for independence leaders and their supporters, and address other crises challenging the state. As the government reconstituted central authority, the imperatives that had driven the decision to grant special autonomy eased. And as the government's commitment to special autonomy faltered, it soon turned to more coercive measures to respond to separatist demands. By 2003, the government was pursuing an alternative strategy of imposing martial law in Aceh and subdividing Papua, a strategy that eclipsed special autonomy and signaled a return to a more coercive, less accommodating, posture. In presenting the case study of Aceh and Papua, this essay confirms a central theme of the comparative literature on autonomy: the fragility of such arrangements and their vulnerability to reversal. Special autonomy arrangements are exceedingly difficult to entrench as national elites almost always resist demands to devolve political authority and are suspicious of any initiative that may set a precedent for other regions. This is particularly the case in large multiethnic countries such as Indonesia where the state faces an array of possible challenges to its authority. A driving force in the Indonesian government's backsliding, for instance, was the official concern that special autonomy was fuelling separatism rather than resolving it. In conceding special rights to Papua and Aceh, officials feared a cascade of similar demands from other regions. All of this suggests that special autonomy, in and of itself, does not represent a solution to separatist conflict. Rather, the concessions that are offered under special autonomy must be part of a broad process of bargaining and negotiation. In the absence of official negotiation with popular elements, autonomy arrangements typically fail to generate widespread support. In this context, central governments, which have many incentives to roll back autonomy, incur few costs in doing so. As this study illustrates, the provincial elites and national parliamentarians that formulated and enacted special autonomy in Indonesia did so largely in isolation from popular elements in both provinces. Special autonomy represented a unilateral concession on the part of Jakarta that lacked any links to the main political forces advocating independence in either province. What has been missing to date is a systematic bargaining process between Jakarta and the regions—one that links concessions granted under the laws with a wide-ranging dialogue involving key elements of Papuan and Acehnese society. This study concludes by examining these comparative themes while also discussing the future prospects for special autonomy in Indonesia. Neither ad hoc unilateral concession making nor the subsequent shift to coercive measures has resolved separatist conflict in Aceh or Papua. In fact, the adoption of more coercive means has not only failed to address the underlying causes of injustice driving both conflicts but has actually exacerbated the alienation of local populations from the state. As a result, the government may again turn to special autonomy as a means to address separatism. The laws remain in place and revenues from autonomy continue to be allocated. But even if Jakarta does strike a more committed posture toward special autonomy, the government will need to move beyond the ad hoc policy responses of the past. At a bare minimum, a link must be established between, on the one hand, the unilateral concessions offered under the laws and, on the other, a systematic bargaining process between Jakarta and the regions to build support for resolving the conflicts. Without linking concessions to dialogue, Aceh and Papua are likely to represent a continuing source of conflict and secessionism for the Indonesian state.
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This paper aims to identify what is distinctive about conflict transformation theory and practice, as well as to identify its key dimensions. We need such a theory of conflict transformation if we are to have an adequate basis for the analysis of conflicts, as well as for devising appropriate responses to them and evaluating the effects of these responses. The paper argues that such theories need to be continually adjusted in response to the changing nature of conflicts, and that current theories must be adapted in order to take proper account of the globalisation of conflicts and conflict interventions. The first section of the article distinguishes conflict transformation theory from theories of conflict management and conflict resolution. It explores some of the principal conflict transformation approaches in more detail, and then asks whether they add up to a coherent body of theory. Following this, it suggests a shift from theories of conflict to theories of conflict-in-context, arguing that in the context of globalisation our analyses of conflict must give proper consideration to the social, regional and international context. We need to consider both the factors that promote peacebuilding and those that exacerbate conflict at these different levels over an extended time period from before the outbreak of violent conflict to well after its resolution. Within this broader setting, this section thus attempts to extend Galtung's and Azar's theories of conflict formation to theories of conflict transformation. It also proposes a framework of five types of conflict transformation, which should be useful as a basis for planning and assessing interventions in conflicts. The second section of the article discusses current developments in conflict transformation practice as they have occurred in the four principal kinds of practice - that of governmental and intergovernmental representatives, of development agencies, of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and of local parties and groups within the conflict setting. The issues involved in coordinating initiatives between these different groups are also discussed. The final section of the paper discusses conflict transformation as a potential seed for change, requiring change both in the peacebuilder as well as in the society in conflict.
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Rooted in the latest theoretical debates about nationalism and ethnicity, yet written in an accessible and engaging style, Islam and Nation presents a fascinating study of the genesis, growth and decline of a nationalist movement. Drawing on hundreds of interviews with nationalist leaders, activists and guerillas, Aspinall reveals how the Free Aceh Movement went from being a quixotic fantasy to a guerilla army in the space of a generation, leading to a bitter conflict in which thousands perished. And by exploring the complex relationship between Islam and nationalism, Aspinall also explains how a society famed for its Islamic piety gave rise to a guerilla movement that ended up rejecting the Islamic goals of its forebears. Islam and Nation is a tour de force in the study of nationalist politics. It will be of great interest to readers concerned about Southeast Asia, Islamic politics, ethnic conflict and nationalism everywhere.
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