Secessionist Challenges in Aceh and Papua Secessionist Challenges in Aceh and Papua ix This study concludes

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  • Policy Studies 10

    Secessionist Challenges in Aceh and Papua: Is Special Autonomy the Solution?

    Rodd McGibbon

    East-West Center Washington

  • Policy Studies A Publication of the East-West Center Washington

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  • Secessionist Challenges in Aceh and Papua: Is Special Autonomy the Solution?

  • Policy Studies 10

    Secessionist Challenges in Aceh and Papua:

    Is Special Autonomy the Solution?

    Rodd McGibbon

  • Copyright © 2004 by the East-West Center Washington

    Secessionist Challenges in Aceh and Papua: Is Special Autonomy the Solution? by Rodd McGibbon

    ISBN 1-932728-19-8 (online version) ISSN 1547-1330 (online version)

    Online at: www.eastwestcenterwashington.org/publications/

    East-West Center Washington 1819 L Street, NW, Suite 200 Washington, D.C. 20036

    Tel: (202) 293-3995 Fax: (202) 293-1402

    E-mail: publications@eastwestcenterwashington.org

    Website: www.eastwestcenterwashington.org

    The Policy Studies series contributes to the Center’s role as a forum for discussion of key contemporary domestic and international political, economic, and strategic issues affecting Asia. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of the Center.

    This publication is a product of the East-West Center Washington proj- ect on Managing Internal Conflicts in Asia. For details see pages 99–107.

    The project and this publication are supported by a generous grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

  • Contents List of Acronyms v

    Executive Summary vii

    Introduction 1

    Prelude to Special Autonomy 6

    Putting Autonomy on the Agenda 12

    Drafting the Aceh Law 14

    Drafting the Papua Law 18

    Implications of Special Autonomy 22

    Implementing the Laws 27

    Aceh: From COHA to Martial Law 46

    Papua: From Backsliding to Conflict 54

    Lessons 64

    Endnotes 71

    Bibliography 79

  • iv Rodd McGibbon

    Appendix A: Main Elements of Law 18/1999 on Special Autonomy for Naggroe Aceh Darussalam 83

    Appendix B: Main Elements of Law 21/1999 on Special Autonomy for Papua 87

    The Aceh Conflict: Background and Map 91

    The Papua Conflict: Background and Map 95

    Project Information: The Dynamics and Management of Internal Conflicts in Asia 99

    • Project Purpose and Outline 101 • Project Participants List 105

    Policy Studies: List of Reviewers 2003–04 109

    Policy Studies: Previous Publications 110

  • List of Acronyms ASEAN Association of Southeast Asian Nations BIN Badan Intelijen Negara (State Intelligence Agency) COHA Cessation of Hostilities Agreement DPR Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat (national legislature) DPRD Dewan Perwakilan Rakyat Daerah (local legislature) FORERI Forum Rekonsiliasi Rakyat Irian Jaya (Forum for

    the Reconciliation of Irian Jaya Society) GAM Gerakan Aceh Merdeka (Free Aceh Movement) HDC Henry Dunant Center IMF International Monetary Fund JSC Joint Security Council KNPI Komite Nasional Pemuda Indonesia (Indonesian

    National Youth Committee) KRA Kongres Rakyat Aceh (Aceh People’s Congress) MPR Majelis Permusyawaratan Rakyat (People’s

    Consultative Assembly) MRP Majelis Rakyat Papua (Papuan People’s Assembly) MPU Majelis Pemusyawaratan Ulama (Consultative

    Council of Islamic Clerics)

  • vi Rodd McGibbon

    NGO nongovernmental organization NKRI Negara Kesatuan Republik Indonesia (Unitary

    State of the Republic of Indonesia) OPM Organisasi Papua Merdeka (Free Papua

    Organization) OTK orang tak kenal (unknown persons) PDI-P Partai Demokrasi Indonesia Perjuanganan

    (Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle) PDP Presidium Dewan Papua (Papuan Presidium Council) PKB Partai Kebangkitan Bangsa (National Awakening

    Party) PNG Papua New Guinea SAMAK Solidaritas Masyarakat Anti-Korupsi (Solidarity for

    Anticorruption Society) SIRA Sentral Informasi Referendum Aceh (Aceh

    Referendum Information Center) TNI Tentara Nasional Indonesia (Indonesian Defense

    Force) Uncen University of Cendrawasih Unsyiah University of Syiah Kuala

  • Executive Summary This study examines the drafting and implementation of special autono- my laws for Aceh and Papua as part of the Indonesian government’s broad- er response to secessionist challenges in both provinces. I examine the background to the political decision to grant special autonomy to Aceh and Papua 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 move- ments 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 gov- ernment offered special autonomy laws in a bid to divert secessionist demands. This offer of “asymmetric” autonomy in fact contained signifi- cant 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 pres- sure on Jakarta, the government was impelled to make major concessions as a way of staving off crisis and keeping the country together.

  • viii Rodd McGibbon

    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 reconsti- tuted 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 particu- larly the case in large multiethnic countries such as Indonesia where the state faces an array of possib