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Country Reports
Indonesia, Landmine Monitor Report 2004


Key developments since May 2003: In 2003, there were reports of three mine/improvised explosive device incidents in Aceh, causing eight casualties. There were also a number of cases in Aceh where security forces discovered IEDs allegedly planted by Gerakan Aceh Merdeka (GAM).

Key developments since 1999: Indonesia has repeatedly stated its commitment to the Mine Ban Treaty and has moved toward ratification, albeit slowly, since 2002. In May 2002, Indonesia revealed that it has a stockpile of 16,000 antipersonnel mines. Since 2001, there have been a small number of incidents involving homemade mines and booby-traps in Aceh and Ambon.

Mine Ban Policy

The Republic of Indonesia signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997, but has not yet ratified. At the Fifth Meeting of States Parties in September 2003, Indonesia’s representative said that the country’s commitment to ban antipersonnel mines “remains unchanged.” He stated, “The ratification is surely underway, though we cannot deny it is considered as being slow or, as some states argue, even too slow. Unavoidable circumstances in the recent past as well as unpredictable challenges in the present time prevent us from accelerating this process uninterruptedly.”[1]

Indonesia was slow to embrace the Ottawa Process. It attended the treaty negotiations only as an observer, but just before the Mine Ban Treaty signing conference decided to “join the majority of the international community”[2] in signing the treaty. Since then Indonesia has repeatedly stated that there is no opposition to ratification and that the delay has been due to administrative obstacles and other priorities. Indonesia has voted in favor of every pro-ban UN General Assembly resolution since 1996, including UNGA Resolution 58/53 on 8 December 2003. It has attended all but one of the annual Meetings of States Parties and many of the intersessional meetings, including those in February and June 2004.[3] At the February meeting, the delegate said that Indonesia would consider submitting a voluntary Article 7 transparency report.[4]

No significant progress in the ratification process has been made in this reporting period. In February 2004 a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said that the ratification process was still in the interdepartmental discussion phase. However, the last interdepartmental meeting of the National Ad Hoc Working Group on the Mine Ban Treaty was held on 26 June 2003, involving the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Defense, Indonesian Army, Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology, and Indonesian Institute of Sciences.[5]

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for drafting the text of a ratification law, which has to be submitted to the President for approval, and then to the Parliament for formal adoption; the text has not yet been prepared.[6] The Mine Ban Treaty is expected to be considered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

The National Ad-Hoc Working Group on the Mine Ban Treaty was established in early 2002. That same year, the Mine Ban Treaty was translated into Indonesian and the Ministry of Defense organized dissemination programs to inform the military directly about the treaty. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defense held a seminar, “Towards the Ratification of the Ottawa Convention” in August 2002. Indonesia attended the Defense Forum in Tokyo in January 2003, where participants discussed efforts to promote the antipersonnel mine ban in the Asia-Pacific region. 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. Indonesia 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. Landmine issues were not included in the October 2003 ASEAN Summit held in Indonesia, despite previous discussion at the ASEAN Senior Officials Committee.[7]

Indonesia is not a party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) or its Amended Protocol II on landmines. A Foreign Ministry official said that Indonesia did not need to participate in the CCW because it had already signed the Mine Ban Treaty, which covered landmines.[8]

Production, Transfer, Stockpiling

Indonesia states that it has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines.[9] In 2002, Indonesia revealed for the first time that it has 16,000 antipersonnel mines stockpiled in different sites throughout the country.[10] The antipersonnel mines were mostly imported from the United States, former Soviet Union, and former Yugoslavia in the early 1960s.[11] A senior official has said that the mines are kept for training purposes only.[12] In June 2004, a diplomat told Landmine Monitor that, when it becomes a State Party, Indonesia intends to retain 10,000 mines for training purposes under Article 3 of the Mine Ban Treaty.[13] This would be among the highest number retained by any State Party.

Rebel groups in Aceh may have tried to illegally acquire antipersonnel mines. In May 2001, two Thai Army officials were caught when they allegedly tried to smuggle a consignment of arms, including M14 and M18A1 mines; they reportedly said that the arms were to be directed to rebels in Aceh.[14]

Landmine/IED Use and Casualties

Indonesia has declared that it is not mine-affected. However, a number of media reports have referred to landmine incidents and casualties in 2001, 2002 and 2003.[15] The incidents appear to involve homemade, victim-activated improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and booby-traps, rather than factory-produced antipersonnel mines.

In 2003, there were reports of three incidents in Indonesia’s westernmost province of Aceh. The government has blamed the Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka or GAM) for these incidents. In May 2003, a landmine/IED in the northern Aceh village of Darussalam killed a soldier from the Army’s elite Kopassus unit.[16] On 22 June 2003, five members of the Mobile Brigade were injured after their truck hit an IED in Ale Gedong Village, Geumpang, Pidie, Aceh.[17] On 21 September 2003, two civilians were killed by an IED along Medan-Banda Aceh road in the Gampong Meunasah Krueng, Peudawa sub-district, Eastern Aceh.[18]

There were also a number of instances in Aceh where security forces discovered IEDs allegedly planted by GAM. In June 2003, the Indonesian Army found two IEDs in Dewantara, North Aceh,[19] one IED in Brueh Village, Meuredu Sub-Regency, Pidie Regency, and one IED in the road at Aloe Garut Village, Nissam Sub-Regency, North Aceh.[20] On 2 July 2003, the military detonated IEDs found by local inhabitants along the road in Nissam Regency, North Aceh; the IEDs were blocking the access of PT. Kertas Kraft Aceh, a paper producer company.[21] On 30 July 2003, the military discovered two antipersonnel mines, along with one mortar and nine active improvised bombs, in Rumah Rayeuk Village, Langkahan, North Aceh.[22] Four IEDs were found in Aceh Tamiang on 20 August 2003.[23] In December 2003, the media reported that GAM set a booby-trap in a flag at a vocational school in Desa Kampung Melayu, Langsa.[24]

After a number of IED/mine incidents were reported on the island of Ambon in 2002, there have been no such reports in 2003 or 2004. However, in June 2003 Army soldiers discovered an arms cache, including six landmines–apparently IEDs—in Ahuru.[25]

Local media quoted Major Broto Guncahyo as stating that in July 2002 the Army had cleared an area in Ambon of booby-traps.[26] According to a military officer, during May and June 2002 the local army and police cleared the areas between the villages of Ahuru and Karang Panjang, and of Suli and Tial, where the 2002 incidents occurred.[27] However, in May 2003, the 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.”[28] Moreover, in March 2004 the Indonesian Campaign to Ban Landmines interviewed a number of local people who believed additional IEDs remained hidden.[29] One Ambonese said he had taught himself how to clear and had found more than 100 IEDs in Ahuru.[30] He said he took the initiative, because the police and the military failed to clear all IEDs.

There have been conflicting reports about mine use by Indonesian forces in West Papua during the conflict with the Netherlands in 1961-1962 and in East Timor in the 1970s.[31]

Indonesia reports three landmine casualties during past peacekeeping operations in Cambodia.[32]

Mine Action and Survivor Assistance

Indonesia has not contributed to international mine action programs since 1998, when it provided US$40,000 to the UN Voluntary Trust Fund for mine clearance in Cambodia.[33]

Survivors of Ambon mine incidents receive medical care in three hospitals: the General Hospital RSU Haulussy, the GPM Hospital, and the Navy Hospital. Victims of the conflict in Ambon receive medical care free of charge at the General Hospital. Medicine and assistance is also available in the local health center in Puskesmas, and from the Jesuit Refugee Service and the Gereja Protestan Maluku-Moluccas (Protestant Church of Maluka – GPM).[34]

[1] Statement by Dian Wirengjurit, Head of Delegation of the Republic of Indonesia to the Fifth Meeting of State Parties, Bangkok, 17 September 2003.
[2] Statement by HE Edi Sudradjat, Minister of Defense and Security, Signing Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty, Ottawa, 2 December 1997.
[3] Indonesia did not attend the Meeting of States Parties in 2002. It participated in the Standing Committee meetings in September 1999, May 2000, May 2002, February 2003 and May 2003.
[4] Remarks to the Universalization Contact Group, Geneva, 12 February 2004.
[5] Interview with Rolliansyah Soemirat, Directorate of International Security and Disarmament, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 27 February 2004. The presidential election process in 2004 has also caused delays. In an interview on 6 September 2004, Rolliansyah Soemirat said another meeting is planned for sometime in September 2004.
[6] Interview with Rolliansyah Soemirat, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 27 February 2004. He explained that according to the ratification procedures set out in Presidential Decree 188/1998, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the initiator of the prospective anti-landmine law.
[7] See Landmine Monitor Report 2003, p. 359.
[8] Interview with Suryana Sastradiredja, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jakarta, 26 February 2001.
[9] Telephone interview with Col. Bambang Irawan, Ministry of Defense, 13 March 2003.
[10] Statement by Col. Bambang Irawan, Ministry of Defense, to the Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction, Geneva, 30 May 2002. At one point the stockpile numbered 22,000 mines, but mines that became unstable were destroyed. See Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 564.
[11] Interview with Col. Bambang Irawan, Coordinating Ministry of Politics and Security, 5 March 2004. See also Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 564. The Yugoslav mines are PROM and PMA types.
[12] Interview with Col. Bambang Irawan, Ministry of Politics and Security, 5 March 2004. He did not explain what the training entailed, but in the past the same official has said that the Indonesian Army does not have sufficient experience or ability to perform mine clearance operations. Landmine Monitor (HIB) interview with Col. Bambang Irawan, Ministry of Defense, Geneva, 28 May 2002.
[13] Landmine Monitor (Nonviolence International) interview with Suryana Sastradireja, Counselor, Permanent Mission of Indonesia to the United Nations, Geneva, 21 June 2004. Indonesia’s delegate to the intersessional meetings in February 2004 also told the Standing Committee on Stockpile Destruction that Indonesia intended to retain 10,000 mines.
[14] See Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 564. In another incident, an Indonesian diplomat said that in 1999 or 2000 arms including antipersonnel mines destined for the Free Aceh Movement were seized in two boats. Landmine Monitor (Nonviolence International) interview with Suryana Sastradireja, Counselor, Permanent Mission of Indonesia to the United Nations, Geneva, 21 June 2004.
[15] In Aceh, in November 2002, a soldier was killed and four others injured after a soldier activated the tripwire of a mine/IED planted on a bridge while patrolling Pante Rambong village; in 2001, three police troopers and a marine were killed and five others injured by landmines in two separate incidents. In Ambon, in August 2002, homemade landmines and booby-traps laid in forest areas by rebel groups killed three people and injured ten. See previous editions of Landmine Monitor Report for more details.
[16] “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.
[17] “Truk dibom, 5 Brimob Cedera” (Truck Bombed, 5 Mobile Brigade Personnel Injured), Serambi Indonesia (local daily newspaper), 24 June 2003.
[18] “2 Warga Sipil Tewas Kena Bom, Masyarakat Temukan 4 Mayat” (Two Civilians Killed by Bomb, Local Community Found 4 Bodies), Waspada (local daily newspaper), 24 September 2003.
[19] “Jet F16 Gempur GAM” (F 16 Fighter Attacks GAM), Jawa Pos (national daily newspaper), 17 June 2003.
[20] “Mati Setelah Disiksa” (Died after Tortured), Jawa Pos, 18 June 2003.
[21] The IEDs were planted approximately one meter under the ground, and made of a large paint can containing potassium chlorate, calcium nitrate, sulphur, bromide, and TNT, together with white cement and sharp iron pieces, motorbike gears and bicycle pedals. “TNI Hancurkan Ranjau-ranjau Darat GAM” (TNI Destroyed GAM’s Landmines), Kompas (national daily newspaper), 3 July 2003.
[22] “Kontak Senjata Terjadi di Dekat Bandara Banda Aceh” (Arm Contacts Took Place Near Banda Aceh Airport), Kompas, 1 August 2003.
[23] “Aceh Mulai Aman, 2 GAM Tewas, 1 Bom dan 4 Ranjau Rakitan Disita” (Aceh Cools Down, 2 GAM Rebels Dead, 1 Bomb and 4 IEDs Seized), Waspada, 21 August 2003.
[24] “Alat Peledak di Tiang Bendera” (Explosive in a Flag Mast), Waspada, 5 December 2003.
[25] Azis Tunny, “Mines, ammunition found in Maluku,” Jakarta Post, 16 June 2003.
[26] Interview reported in Ambon Ekspress (local daily newspaper), 12 August 2002.
[27] “Ditemukan Senjata, Granat, dan Bom Rakitan di Ahuru” (“Guns, Grenades, and Home-made Bomb in Ahuru”), Suara Maluku (local daily newspaper), 14 June 2003. The article cites Lieutenant Colonel Yudi Zanibar, Chief of Kodim (District military command) 1504 Pulau Ambon.
[28] “Airforce Command to Coordinate Sweep of Landmines in Ambon,” ANTARA (Ambon), 26 May 2003.
[29] One person to express this concern was Yani Kubangun, editor of the Ambon Ekspress. He followed a demining team clearing two locations in 2002 and reported that on several occasions metal detectors failed to detect IEDs. Interview with Yani Kubangu, 8 March 2004.
[30] Interview with Mr. Cobra, Karang Panjang, 10 March 2004.
[31] See Landmine Monitor Report 2000, pp. 452-453.
[32] Interview with Col. Bambang Irawan, Ministry of Defense, 28 May 2002.
[33] “Assistance in Mine Clearance: Report of the Secretary-General,” UNGA A/53/496, 14 October 1998, p. 29.
[34] Interview with Rev. Jack Manuputty, Chairman of GPM Crisis Centre (Gereja Protestan Maluku, Protestant Church of Maluku), 9 March 2004.