Ending a Long-Standing Intrastate Conflict Through Internationalisation: The Case of Aceh in Indonesia

  • Efri Yoni Baikoeni
  • Mikio OishiEmail author
Part of the Asia in Transition book series (AT, volume 3)


This chapter first provides the historical narrative of the Acehnese ethnic conflict in Indonesia which saw two insurgent organisations emerging in different periods of post-independence Indonesia and struggling for ethnic secessionism causing three waves of violent flare-up. The chapter then focuses on the struggle of the second group, the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) and identifies three fundamental incompatibilities that the struggle represents: (1) GAM’s claim for independence and Jakarta’s need to maintain the territorial integrity of the Indonesian state; (2) GAM’s demand for a UN-supervised referendum on the future of Aceh and Jakarta’s objective of promoting all-inclusive dialogue involving all elements of Acehnese society, as the means to articulate the collective will of the Acehnese people; and (3) Acehnese grievances over the control of natural resources in the province by the national government, especially oil and natural gas and the latter’s need to pursue the economic development of Indonesia by exploiting these resources. The chapter then examines how conflicting parties conducted themselves for the dissolution of the incompatibilities. The national government gradually shifted from hardline to softline approaches as lessons were learnt accumulatively from its mistakes. As the conflict became more and more internationalised, Jakarta switched from containing the conflict within national boundaries to seeking international help and expertise for the final settlement of the conflict.


GAM Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (COHA) Ripe moment Martti Ahtisaari Helsinki MOU Aceh Monitoring Mission (AMM) 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Universiti Brunei DarussalamBandar Seri BegawanBrunei Darussalam

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