Partners in Conflict and Partners in Peacebuilding Initiatives: Indonesia
Collaborative Projects with IRIS, University of Indonesia, CRS and FMCS with support from USAID 1999-2001.
This project emerged as a collaborative effort with the University of Maryland-based Institutional Reform and the Informal Sector, in response to the multiple sources of instability threatening the transition to democratic governance after the fall of the Suharto regime in 1998. IRIS, with support from USAID, was playing a key role in assisting the new government develop the economic and political infrastructure and policies needed to sustain this predominantly Muslim but culturally and ethnically diverse nation. Particularly with the secession of East Timor in 1999 there were several secessionist movements, including Aceh, West Papua and Riau, and several areas of tension and localized conflict, particularly between older populations in the outer islands of Maluku, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Nusa Tenggara and Sumatra and more recent transmigrants from Java and Madura.
CIDCM's Partners in Conflict/Partners in Peacebuilding project was asked to join the project in 1999 to focus on building capacity for peace, and given the size and complexity of the undertaking, CIDCM in turn brought in CDR Associates and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service in support of this initiative. It was only one among several related projects tackling an enormously complex and critical transition, raising a further challenge in our work -- how to best coordinate these diverse initiatives and the many new Indonesian civil society organizations and government agencies involved.
Our primary Indonesian partners were Komnas Ham (the Indonesian National Commission on Human Rights), the Indonesian Center for Environmental Law, the Indonesian Institute for Democracy Education (IDE) and the University of Indonesia, each of which came to play a significant role in promoting norms and building the skills needed for a sustainable democratic peace. Some of this work is summarized in the following report extracts. While there is no longer active collaboration, as with all our partnership projects, we maintain contact and remain available for follow-up consultation as may be needed, as for example after the tsunami that devastated Aceh in December 2004 but created the conditions for a settlement of the separatist war in that province.