This chapter explains the reasons behind the unexpectedly smooth peace process in Aceh. It begins with an analytical description of the decades-long conflict and the several failed attempts at its resolution, outlining both the separatist ideology of the rebels and the unitarian determination of the Jakarta Government to keep the Indonesian state together. In 1949, the Dutch eventually surrendered their executive authority over the Netherlands East Indies to the United States of Indonesia – a federal state which included the Republic and several other territories. The military campaign in 2003 and 2004 forced Gerakan Aceh Merdeka onto the defensive, and triggered discussions within the rebel group about the need to revise its agenda and strategy. In recent years, scholars of autonomy regimes in heterogeneous states have engaged in extensive debates on whether concessions by the central government to peripheral regions have a moderating or aggravating effect on secessionist sentiments in such areas.
|Title of host publication||Autonomy and Ethnic Conflict in South and South-East Asia|
|Place of Publication||Abingdon|
|Publisher||Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group|
|Publication status||Published - 2012|