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INDONESIA, Landmine Monitor Report 2005


Key developments since May 2004: In June 2005, representatives of the interdepartmental working group on the Mine Ban Treaty reached a consensus in favor of ratification and submitted a recommendation to the President for his approval. The ICBL conducted a special advocacy mission to Indonesia in July 2005 during which the Minister of Defense pledged support for ratification without further delay.

Mine Ban Policy

The Republic of Indonesia signed the Mine Ban Treaty on 4 December 1997, but has not yet ratified. Indonesia has long said the only obstacles to ratification have been the difficult circumstances in the country and other more urgent priorities. Indonesia has voted in favor of every pro-ban UN General Assembly resolution since 1996, including UNGA Resolution 59/84 on 3 December 2004 calling for universalization of the Mine Ban Treaty.

Indonesia participated as an observer in the First Review Conference of the Mine Ban Treaty held in Nairobi in November-December 2004. The Indonesian delegation acknowledged that by not yet ratifying, Indonesia has “been unable to fulfill the wish of the parties as well as the wish of people around the world,” but he explained that the signing of the Mine Ban Treaty “came as our country was hit by multi-dimensional crises, which have required our collective energy to address it.”[1 ] The government expressed hope that “successful democratic elections and peaceful succession of leadership” will provide “added new momentum to allow us to refocus our efforts” on ratification of the treaty.[2]

Indonesia also participated in the Mine Ban Treaty intersessional meetings in Geneva in June 2005. It has attended all but one of the annual Meetings of States Parties and many of the intersessional meetings, including in February 2004 when it indicated it would consider submitting a voluntary Article 7 transparency report.[3]

Since early 2002, ratification of the Mine Ban Treaty has been under consideration by an interdepartmental working group with representatives from the Armed Forces and its Strategic Intelligence Board (Badan Intelijen Strategis Tentara Nasional Indonesia, BAIS TNI), Ministry of Defense, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (Lembaga Ilmu Pengetahuan Indonesia, LIPI) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They met on 27 January 2005 to submit and discuss their various views regarding ratification.[4 ]

In June 2005, the representatives of the interdepartmental working group on the Mine Ban Treaty reached a consensus in favor of ratification. They agreed on a paper analyzing the costs and benefits of implementing the Mine Ban Treaty, which they submitted to the President, with a recommendation to proceed with ratification. After presidential approval, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is expected to draft ratification legislation to be submitted to parliament for formal adoption.[5 ]

In August 2005, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs official wrote to Landmine Monitor that “following an interdepartmental meeting on June 7, 2005 which have endorsed an academic paper for the ratification of the Ottawa Convention, as mandated by our ratification process of international conventions, the Foreign Minister of Indonesia has sent a letter requesting the President to consider drafting a Law on Ratification of the Ottawa Convention. It is hoped that after the President gives his agreement, the interdepartmental group will start work on the draft law before the Government formally submits it to the Parliament to be deliberated and taken action on.... I would like to emphasize that there is indeed no substantial obstacle for Indonesia to ratify the Ottawa Convention.... I can assure you that the ratification process...is now back on track.”[6 ]

The ICBL conducted a special advocacy mission to Indonesia in July 2005.[7 ] The Minister of Defense, Juwono Sudarsono, told the ICBL and the Indonesia Campaign to Ban Landmines that he supported ratification and would do all in his power to ensure the process moves forward as smoothly as possible.[8]

The Indonesian Campaign to Ban Landmines, including founding members Jesuit Refugee Service, Lapasip and UNICEF, actively promoted ratification of the Mine Ban Treaty in 2004 and 2005. In November 2004, the Campaign released an Indonesian translation of Landmine Monitor Report 2004. In December 2004, the Canadian ambassador to Indonesia hosted a reception to celebrate the government’s participation in the First Review Conference and to encourage swift ratification of the Mine Ban Treaty. In July 2005, the ICBL’s Diplomatic Advisor Ambassador Satnam Singh opened an exhibition at the National Museum featuring Cambodian photographs by Indonesian photographer Ray Bachtiar. Over 100 people attended the opening, including Dewa Budjana, a famous musician from the band Gigi.[9]

Indonesia is not a party to the Convention on Conventional Weapons (CCW) and its Amended Protocol II on landmines.

Production, Transfer, Stockpiling and Use

Indonesia states that it has never produced or exported antipersonnel mines.[10 ] In 2002, Indonesia revealed for the first time that it has a total of 16,000 antipersonnel mines stockpiled at different sites throughout the country.[11 ] The antipersonnel mines were mostly imported in the early 1960s from the United States, former Soviet Union and former Yugoslavia.[12 ] Indonesia stated in August 2005 that “relevant authorities are currently verifying the exact number of active mines from its existing stockpile, bearing in mind that some of the landmines are considered old.”[13 ]

A senior official has said that the mines are kept for training purposes only.[14 ] 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.[15 ] This would be among the highest number retained by any State Party. In August 2005, an official said, “The number of landmines Indonesia wishes to retain for training purposes will be informed at a later stage.”[16]

There were no reports of rebel use of antipersonnel mines or mine-like improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in this reporting period (since May 2004). There were a small number of reports of “landmine” incidents and casualties in 2001, 2002 and 2003.[17 ] The incidents mostly occurred in the province of Aceh, where the government blamed the Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka, GAM), and there were some in Ambon. The incidents appeared to have involved homemade, victim-activated IEDs and booby-traps, rather than factory-produced antipersonnel mines.

In August 2004, representatives of the Free Aceh Movement stated that they used bombs to ambush Indonesian military convoys, but not “victim-triggered mines.” They added that GAM has “never used booby-traps, because it will threaten the local villagers.”[18 ] The government and the Free Aceh Movement signed a peace agreement in Helsinki, Finland on 15 August 2005. Under the deal, GAM rebels must hand over their weapons to a group of European Union and Southeast Asian peace monitors.

Landmine/IED Problem, Casualties and Survivor Assistance

Indonesia has declared that it is not mine-affected.[19 ] Interviews conducted in 2004 by the Indonesian Campaign to Ban Landmines with local residents in Ambon showed that civilians believed IEDs remain hidden. One interviewee claimed having found more than 100 IEDs, which he cleared and disposed.[20 ] It has not been possible to substantiate these claims.

The 26 December 2004 tsunami prompted concern about explosives being swept into civilian or settlement areas; however, as of May 2005 no discoveries of mines or IEDs or new casualties had been recorded.[21 ] Landmine Monitor identified no reports of mine/IED casualties in 2004 or the first half of 2005.

Medical care for mine/IED casualties in Ambon is available in three hospitals: the General Hospital RSU Haulussy, the GPM Hospital, and the Navy Hospital. Assistance was 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).[22 ] In 2004, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) donated medicines and supplies to seven hospitals in Ambon, and 14 hospitals and 22 health centers in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam; first aid supplies were also donated to 20 Red Cross branches. ICRC also sponsored an Indonesian national for a three-year training course at the Cambodian School of Prosthetics and Orthotics.[23 ]

[1 ]Statement by Dian Wirengjurit, Head of Delegation of the Republic of Indonesia, Nairobi Summit on a Mine-Free World (First Review Conference), Nairobi, 3 December 2004.

[2] Statement by Dian Wirengjurit, First Review Conference, Nairobi, 3 December 2004.

[3] Remarks to the Universalization Contact Group, Geneva, 12 February 2004.

[4 ]Email from Witjaksono Adji, Directorate of International Security and Disarmament, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to Indonesian Campaign to Ban Landmines, 25 May 2005.

[5 ]Email from Amb. Satnam Singh, ICBL Diplomatic Advisor, to Sylvie Brigot, ICBL Advocacy Director, 21 July 2005; ICBL Web Update, “Indonesian Defense Minister receives ICBL Diplomatic Advisor,” Jakarta, 21 July 2005.

[6 ]Letter No. 701/PO/VIII/2005/48, from Hasan Kleib, Director for International Security and Disarmament, Department of Foreign Affairs, to Landmine Monitor (HRW), 29 August 2005.

[7 ]The ICBL was represented by its Diplomatic Advisor, retired Indian Ambassador Satnam Singh. Amb. Singh and the Indonesian CBL met with the Minister of Defense, the Director for International Security and Disarmament Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and representatives of the interdepartmental working group on the Mine Ban Treaty.

[8] ICBL Web Update, “Indonesian Defense Minister receives ICBL Diplomatic Advisor,” Jakarta, 21 July 2005.

[9] ICBL Web Update, “Artists Promote Ratification of Mine Ban Treaty in Indonesia,” Jakarta, 21 July 2005.

[10 ]Telephone interview with Col. Bambang Irawan, Ministry of Defense, 13 March 2003.

[11 ]Statement by Col. Bambang Irawan, 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.

[12 ]Interview with Col. Bambang Irawan, 5 March 2004. See also Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 564. The Yugoslav mines are PROM and PMA types.

[13 ]Letter No. 701/PO/VIII/2005/48, from Hasan Kleib, Department of Foreign Affairs, to Landmine Monitor (HRW), 29 August 2005.

[14 ]Interview with Col. Bambang Irawan, 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. Interview with Col. Bambang Irawan, Geneva, 28 May 2002.

[15 ]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.

[16] Letter No. 701/PO/VIII/2005/48, from Hasan Kleib, Department of Foreign Affairs, to Landmine Monitor (HRW), 29 August 2005.

[17 ]See previous editions of Landmine Monitor Report for more details.

[18 ]Statement by Free Aceh Movement delegate to Geneva Call, 26-29 August 2004. See www.community.achehtimes.com/duta_acheh/pdf/2004/Duta_Acheh_01.pdf, pp. 8-9.

[19 ]Statement by Col. Bambang Irawan, 30 May 2002. See Landmine Monitor Report 2002, p. 564.

[20 ]See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 903; interview with Mr. Cobra, Korang Pajang, 10 March 2004.

[21 ]Interview with Munawardi Ismail, Journalist, WASPADA daily, Banda Aceh, 4 May 2005.

[22 ]See Landmine Monitor Report 2004, p. 904.

[23 ]ICRC, “Annual Report 2004,” Geneva, June 2005,  p. 150.