Aceh

  • In the news

  • 5,000 migrants from Java left in limbo in Aceh
    Jakarta Post, Indonesia -
    Some 5,000 people or 1,300 transmigrant families from Java, who fled Aceh last year following major conflict in the province, have returned to Aceh, as the ...
  • Aceh gold medalist Habli hopes for permanent job
    Jakarta Post, Indonesia -
    For Habli, winning the gold in fencing for Aceh at the ongoing National Games (PON) is an honor -- and for Aceh, it is the shiniest, most gleaming medal, given ...
  • Military shoots dead four suspected Aceh rebels
    Borneo Bulletin, Brunei Darussalam -
    BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (AFP) - The Indonesian military has shot dead four suspected rebels in the latest violence in the conflict-hit province of Aceh, its ...
  • First high-level rebel commander killed in Aceh province
    Jakarta Post, Indonesia -
    JAKARTA (AFP): A separatist rebel spokesman in Aceh province confirmed on Friday that a high-profile guerrilla leader has died in a clash with government forces ...
  • Next US envoy wants peace for Aceh
    Jakarta Post, Indonesia -
    The United States ambassador-designate to Indonesia B. Lynn Pascoe said that encouraging and facilitating the peace process in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam would ...
Map showing Aceh within Indonesia

Aceh, or in full Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam is a special territory (daerah istimewa) in Indonesia. To the east of Aceh is the province Sumatera Utara, with the border running roughly north-south.

1 Economy

2 History

3 Separatist movement

4 External link

5 Municipalities and Regencies

6 Ethnic group

Table of contents

Economy

Aceh possesses one of Indonesia's largest reserves of oil and natural gas. A number of multinational corporations, such as Exxon Mobil, maintain a presence in Aceh.

History

It is believed that Islam first entered Southeast Asia through Aceh in the 8th century. In the 18th century, the Islamic kingdom of Aceh was involved in a power struggle between British and Dutch colonial interests.

In 1824, the Anglo-Dutch treaty was signed, effectively giving the Dutch control of British possessions in Sumatra. The Dutch agreed to allow the independence of Aceh, possibly to serve as a buffer state. In 1871, the British allowed the Dutch to invade Aceh, possibly to prevent the French from gaining a foothold in the region. The Dutch found gaining control of Aceh difficult: Acehnese guerrilla activity lasted until World War II.

In 1949, the Dutch handed their colonial possessions to Indonesia, including the Kingdom of Aceh. Indonesian troops were dispatched to annex Aceh, causing resentment to what Acehnese view as foreign occupation. In 1959 the Indonesian government yielded and gave Aceh a "special territory" status, giving it a high degree of autonomy in a number of matters. This placated a number of Acehnese, but a pro-independence movement still remains.

Separatist movement

There is a view among the Acehnese that Jakarta exploits Aceh's natural resources, while leaving the region impoverished. Religion is another factor: the majority of Indonesia's Muslims are secular compared to the more devout Acehnese (Acehnese still distance themselves from fundamentalist Islam). Culturally, Aceh is also distinct from mainstream Indonesia. The Indonesian government's policy of culturally 'unifying' the entire archipelago to increase stability is unpopular among Acehnese (as well as a number of other ethnic groups).

In 2002 the separatists and the Indonesian government agreed on a peace plan. However it collapsed in early 2003 and the government imposed martial law and began a large-scale offensive in the region. In November 2003 the martial law was extended for a further six months.

See also: Free Aceh Movement

External link

Municipalities and Regencies

Before 1999, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam had 2 municipalities and 8 regencies.

Municipalities :

  • Banda Aceh
  • Sabang
  • Aceh Besar (capital : Jantho)
  • Pidie (capital : Sigli)
  • Aceh Utara (capital : Lhok Seumawe)
  • Aceh Timur (capital : Langsa)
  • Aceh Tengah (capital : Takengon)
  • Aceh Barat (capital : Meulaboh)
  • Aceh Selatan (capital : Tapaktuan)
  • Aceh Tenggara (capital : Kutacane)
But after 1999, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam has been divided in order to ease local government and now it has got 17 regencies & 4 municipalities : Regencies :
  • Aceh Barat (capital : Meulaboh)
  • Aceh Barat Daya (capital : Blang Pidie)
  • Aceh Besar (capital : Jantho)
  • Aceh Jaya (capital : Calang)
  • Aceh Selatan (capital : Tapaktuan)
  • Aceh Singkil (capital : Singkil)
  • Aceh Barat (capital : Meulaboh)
  • Aceh Selatan (capital : Tapaktuan)
  • Aceh Tamiang (capital : Karang baru)
  • Aceh Tengah (capital : Takengon)
  • Aceh Tenggara (capital : Kutacane)
  • Aceh Timur (capital : Langsa)
  • Aceh Utara (capital : Lhoksukon)
  • Bener Meriah (capital : Simpang III Redelong)
  • Bireuen (capital : Bireuen)
  • Gayo Lues(capital : Blangkejeren)
  • Nagan Raya (capital : Sukamakmue)
  • Pidie (capital : Sigli)
  • Simeulue (capital : Sinabang)
Municipalities :
  • Banda Aceh
  • Sabang
  • Lhokseumawe, and
  • Langsa
Meanwhile there are two demands for new autonomous areas: In Aceh Singkil, there is a demand for establishing municipality of Subulussalam and in Pidie, around 8 districts demand to develop a new regency which will be named (?)Meuredu or Pidie Jaya. Those are demanded to facilitate development in the areas.

Ethnic group

Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam is a heterogeneous region which formed by various ethnic groups and languages. The main ethnic groups are Acehnese who are distributed in almost part of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam, Gayo (who are concentrated in Aceh Tengah, some parts of Aceh Timur, Bener Meriah and Gayo Lues); Alas (concentrated in Aceh Tenggara); Tamiang (who are concentrated in Aceh Tamiang); Aneuk Jamee (concentrated in Aceh Selatan and Aceh Barat Daya); Kluet (concentrated in Aceh Selatan) and Simeulue (concentrated in Simeulue Island). There are other groups like Javanese, Batak, Chinese, Indians, Arabs and more.

There is also a small group of European descendants who live in Kecamatan Jaya, Aceh Jaya. Many of them have blonde hair, white skin and blue eyes. They are believed to be the Islamicized descendants of Portuguese solders. They live with Acehnese traditions and only speak Achinese and Indonesian.