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Country Reports
Indonesia, Landmine Monitor Report 2003


Key developments since May 2002: Indonesia has continued to move toward ratification of the Mine Ban Treaty. There have been a number of incidents involving homemade mines and booby-traps in Ambon and Aceh.

Mine Ban Policy

Indonesia signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997, but has not yet ratified. It has repeatedly stated that there is no opposition to the ratification of the treaty, and that the delay is “simply a matter of legislative and parliament agenda priorities.”[1] In May 2003, an Indonesian official told Landmine Monitor that the ratification document was still with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and had not yet been submitted to the President for approval. The Mine Ban Treaty is expected to be considered after ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.[2]

The National Ad-Hoc Working Group on the Mine Ban Treaty was established in early 2002. The Mine Ban Treaty has been translated into Indonesian and the Department of Defense has organized dissemination programs to inform the military directly about the Mine Ban Treaty in Bandung (West Java), Jakarta, Surabaya (East Java) and Balikpapan (East Kalimantan). The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Department of Defense held a seminar, “Towards the Ratification of the Ottawa Convention,” in Bogor, West Java, in August 2002. Participants included representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Defense, and other relevant Ministries, Military, Police, Universities, and a local NGO, LaPasip.[3] Indonesia also participated in the Defense Forum promoted by Japan in Tokyo from 28 to 30 January 2003, where participants discussed efforts to promote the antipersonnel mine ban in the Asia-Pacific region.

Indonesia did not attend the Fourth Meeting of States Parties September 2002, but it participated in the February and May 2003 intersessional Standing Committee meetings. In November 2002, Indonesia voted in favor of UN General Assembly Resolution 57/74 calling for universalization and implementation of the Mine Ban Treaty. Indonesia has participated in the Bangkok Regional Action Group (BRAG), which was formed by States Parties from the Asia-Pacific region in September 2002 with the aim of promoting landmine ban initiatives in the region in the lead up to the Fifth Meeting of States Parties in Bangkok in September 2003.

In May 2003, Canadian officials visited Indonesia to urge ratification, meeting with the Minister of Defense, Chief of the Armed Forces, Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials, and parliamentarians. ICBL Ambassador and landmine survivor Tun Channareth from Cambodia also participated in the mission. They were told that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would hold an interdepartmental seminar on this issue on 26 June 2003.[4]

Production, Transfer, Stockpiling

Indonesia has stated that it has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines.[5] Indonesia has 16,000 antipersonnel mines stockpiled in different sites throughout the country.[6] According to a Defense Department official, Indonesia intends to retain 10,000 mines under Article 3 of the Mine Ban Treaty.[7]

Landmine Use and Casualties

Indonesia has declared that is not mine-affected. However, a number of media reports have referred to landmine incidents and casualties in 2002 and 2003. The incidents appear to involve homemade victim-activated improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and booby-traps, rather than factory-produced antipersonnel mines.

In August 2002, homemade landmines and booby-traps laid in forest areas on the island of Ambon in the Maluka killed three people and injured ten; three of the injured had limbs amputated. Eleven of the casualties were male civilians who had gone into the forest to hunt pigs or gather fruit. The other two were military personnel searching for explosive devices. The incidents occurred in the districts of Waeheru and Baguala, and the Karpan forest.[8]

Local media quoted Major Broto Guncahyo as stating that in July 2002 the Army had cleared an area in Ambon of booby-traps.[9] A UN Security Officer in Ambon told Landmine Monitor that the devices were not landmines, but booby-traps, used to trap wild pigs in the forest.[10] In May 2003, media reported that the head of the Pattimura regional military command in Ambon, Col. Haris Sarjana, said, “A survey has found out that there are still many landmines in Ahuru, but we need to confirm whether they are standard or homemade.”[11] In June 2003, Army soldiers discovered an arms cache, including six landmines–apparently IEDs—in Ahuru.[12]

Casualties were also reported in Indonesia’s westernmost province of Aceh. On 16 November 2002, one soldier was killed and four others injured, after a soldier activated the tripwire of a mine planted on a bridge while patrolling Pante Rambong village in east Aceh.[13] In May 2003, a landmine in the northern Aceh village of Darussalam killed a soldier from the Army’s elite Kopassus unit.[14] The Free Aceh Movement is blamed for the incidents.

Survivor Assistance

The Ambon casualties received medical care in three hospitals: the General Hospital RSU Haulussy, the GPM Hospital, and the Navy Hospital. Victims of the conflict in Ambon, including IED casualties, receive medical care free of charge at the General Hospital and medicine and assistance is also available from the local health center in Puskesmas, the Jesuit Refugee Service, and the Gereja Protestan Maluku-Moluccas Protestant Church (GPM). None of the survivors have received rehabilitation since the incidents. Rehabilitation facilities are available in Yogyakarta in Yogyakarta Province and Solo in Central Java Province, but these services are too far away for disabled people in Ambon to access.

[1] Statement by Col. Bambang Irawan, Head of Arms Control and Disarmament, Department of Defense, to the Standing Committee on General Status and Operation, Geneva, 12 May 2003.
[2] Interview with Col. Bambang Irawan, Department of Defense, Geneva, 16 May 2003.
[3] Email from Col. Bambang Irawan, Department of Defense, 5 May 2003.
[4] Email to Elizabeth Bernstein, ICBL Coordinator, from Karen Mollica, Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, 8 July 2003.
[5] Telephone interview with Col. Bambang Irawan, Department of Defense, 13 March 2003.
[6] Statement by Col. Bambang Irawan, Department of Defense, to the Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 30 May 2002.
[7] Interview with Col. Bambang Irawan, Department of Defense, 16 May 2003.
[8] Landmine Monitor field visit to Ambon, 12 October 2002; “Korban Tewas akibat Ranjau,” (Killed by IED), Siwalima (local daily newspaper), 13 August 2002; “Kodam akan Datangkan Alat Deteksi Ranjau” (Regional Military Command needs to import Mine Detectors), Siwalima, 15 August 2002; “Dua Diamputasi, Tentara Kena Ranjau” (Amputated, Two Armies as IED’s victims), Suara Maluku (local daily newspaper), 12 August 2002.
[9] Interview reported in Ambon Ekspress (local daily news), 12 August 2002.
[10] Interview with Martin Ronnberg, UN Security Officer, Ambon, 2 January 2003.
[11] “Airforce Command to Coordinate Sweep of Landmines in Ambon,” ANTARA (Ambon, Maluka), 26 May 2003.
[12] Azis Tunny, “Mines, ammunition found in Maluku,” Jakarta Post, 16 June 2003.
[13] “One soldier killed, four wounded in mine explosion in Aceh,” Xinhua (Jakarta), 17 November 2002.
[14] “Acehnese Separatists Condemned for Using Landmines in Aceh Conflict,” ANTARA (Jakarta), 29 May 2003; “Indonesian army kills two more GAM rebels,” Xinhua (Jakarta), 28 May 2003.