Aceh’s Struggle for Independence: Considering the Role of Islam in a Separatist – Robert Shaw

Tension and conflict marred the relationship between the Indonesian government in Jakarta and Indonesia’s northernmost province of Aceh for most of the last half century. At the core of the center ‐ periphery rift between Jakarta and Aceh was the Acehnese desire for political autonomy, although that desire has enjoyed varying degrees of support in Aceh since the region was incorporated into an independent Indonesian state in 1953. 1 Shortly after the formation of the Indonesian state, Acehnese joined with the national resistance movement, Darul Islam, to launch the first post ‐ colonial armed struggle in Aceh. Two decades later, the issue of political autonomy still had not been resolved.

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