Indonesia. More than 200,000 people were feared to have died on December 26, when huge tidal waves hit the northern and western coasts of Sumatra after a powerful earthquake under the seabed. The worst hit was the war-torn province of Aceh, where large parts of the capital Banda Aceh and other major cities were wiped out.
Prior to the disaster, after a year’s offensive against the separatist guerrilla, the Army considered the Free Aceh Movement (GAM) to have had the situation under control so that the state of emergency could be lowered and civilian rule reinstated. The offensive was criticized by human rights groups for causing severe hardship to the civilian population. Two GAM leaders residing in Sweden were arrested on suspicion of violations of international law, accused by Indonesia of terrorism, but released on detention after detention hearings when the district court found the evidence insufficient.
According to Digopaul.com, the popular enthusiasm that led Megawati Sukarnoputri to the presidential post in 1999 and made her party PDIP (Indonesia’s Democratic Match Party) the Indonesia’s biggest had been deeply disappointed during the year. Megawati had failed to remedy the corruption – which according to the Indonesian Prosecutor’s Office cost the country $ 2.35 billion in two years – or create jobs and prosperity. She had also been criticized for facing the wave of terrorist attacks. In the parliamentary elections in April, the military dictatorship Golkar regained his position as the country’s largest party with 128 seats, against 109 for PDIP.
When I held his first direct presidential election in the summer – formerly elected head of state by Parliament – former general Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono clearly won in the first round before Megawati and former commander Wiranto, who was Golkar’s candidate. Susilo had profiled himself by leaving the post of security minister in Megawati’s government in good time and emerged as principled and actionable. In the decisive round, Susilo won by a crushing margin, 61% of the vote against 39 for Megawati. However, the new president was given no easy task, despite his popularity. His own newly formed Democratic Party had only 57 seats in a parliament where Golkar, PDIP and several other parties collaborated. He chose to form a government that largely consisted of independent trade experts with good reputation.
According to CountryAAH, the total population in Indonesia is 273,523,626 people in 2020. the Constitutional Court ruled in July that the anti-terror law relied on to convict those responsible for the blast attack in Bali in 2002, when 202 people were killed, including six Swedes, had been used improperly. The law was passed by Parliament after the attack and, according to the Constitutional Court, could not be applied retroactively. Although it was said that the ruling would not tear up the judgments, including three death sentences, several defense attorneys announced that they intended to request a raise for their clients. The ruling meant that a man who admitted involvement in the Bali attack was acquitted in August because the prosecution under the terror law was rejected. However, the man, called Idris, was sentenced to ten years in prison for participating in the attack on a hotel in Jakarta in 2003 when twelve people were killed.
Abu Bakar Baasyir, appointed leader of the Islamist terrorist group Jemaa Islamiyya, was re-tried in October. He was acquitted in 2003 of charges of treason, when his position within Jemaa Islamiyya could not be substantiated, but prosecutors now considered themselves to have obtained new evidence.
A new suicide attack with suspected link to Jemaa Islamiyya was carried out at the Australian Embassy in Jakarta in September, when eleven people were killed. Four suspected accomplices were arrested in November.