The Severity of Freeing West Papua from the Dutch

Linggarjati - pintuwisata.com
Linggarjati - pintuwisata.com

The fight to free West Papua from the Dutch takes a long and harsh process. Everything began when Indonesia declared its independence in 1945. Although Indonesia, in fact, got its freedom in that year, the fresh sovereignty in line with the Dutch’s de facto diplomatic recognition only included three large islands – Java, Madura, and Sumatra. The urge for the Dutch Indies government to renounce the archipelago no later than the 1st of January, 1949 was getting bigger. Thus, the Linggarjati negotiation was ultimately made.

It turned out that the discussion of Linggarjati, as well as the final result, was quite hard-hitting. Instead of getting fair treatment, the Indonesian party was sadly aggrieved. The Dutch side insisted on creating a federal United States of Indonesia with the specified areas under the lineal control of the Dutch Kingdom.

The Dutch Military Aggression (1947 to 1949)

Dutch army - ytimg.com
Dutch army – ytimg.com

The negotiation of Linggarjati was full of futility and pointlessness as other regions such as Sulawesi and West Papua were excluded. This surely caused anger and acrimony among Indonesian citizens. The Dutch’s pettiness inevitably resulted in territorial battles. The complexity began when the Dutch military aggression in the entire Java and Sumatra took place in July 1947. The cursed action killing thousands of Indonesians was truly severe so that the dream to take charge of West Papua went up in smoke. Got much disappointment and feeling despondent, Sutan Sjahrir, the Indonesian representative, finally bowed out of the tough discussion.

Renville Negotiation

Linggarjati - pintuwisata.com
Linggarjati – pintuwisata.com

The aggression issued by the Dutch party had kept going for about two years from 1947 to 1949. The following agenda to settle the dispute emerging on the previous negotiation named Linggarjati is through the Renville negotiation that was carried out on the American warship. The discussion of which arbitrators under the Committee of Good Offices for Indonesia including the United States of America, Belgium, and Australia began from December 8th, 1947. The main concern of Renville negotiation is to clarify the international borders between the archipelago and the Dutch namely Van Mook line.

The negotiation came up after the security council of United Nations proclaimed the ceasefire for both Indonesia and Dutch. It was attended by some delegates including Indonesia represented by Amir Syarifudin and Ali Sastroamijoyo, Dutch emissaries like  R.Abdul Kadir Wijoyoatmojo and Mr. H..A.L. Van Vredenburg, and United Nations deputized by Frank Graham and Paul Van Zeeland. The contents of the agreement were actually detrimental to Indonesia. Instead of covering West Papua and other regions, one of the Indonesian territories specifically Java dwindled. The Dutch only recognized Central Java and Yogyakarta.

Roem-van Roijen Agreement

Roem-van Roijen - wikimedia.org
Roem-van Roijen – wikimedia.org

This agreement was made before the Round Table Conference was held. Taking place on May 7th, 1949, the negotiation of which name was derived from Mohammad Roem and Jan Herman van Roijen. It was aimed to finish the Indonesian and Dutch conflict coming with main concerns. The key points encompass the termination of guerilla activities performed by the Indonesian armed forces, the consent to participate in Round Table Conference, the Indonesian government’s restoration in Yogyakarta, the cessation of Dutch troop’s operation, and liberating the war prisoners.

The Dutch-Indonesian Round Table Conference

Round table conferance - ytimg.com
Round table conferance – ytimg.com

The conference was held from August 23rd to November 2nd, 1949 in The Hague is aimed to resolve all the things related to territorial disputes, internal conflicts about the power of both sides and most importantly the sovereignty handover from the Dutch colonials to the federal United States of Indonesia. Unfortunately, West Papua was not included in the agreement letting the Indonesian side run into disappointment. The Dutch side considered that West Papua should have been separable from Indonesia due to the ethnicity difference. The handover aroused suspicion that the Dutch had strong decision to take over West Papua.

The result of Round Table Agreement ends up with a point disserving the Indonesian party. It stated that the sovereignty formation was based on a federal state in command of the Dutch monarchy – this means, the new country was not wholly independent. In addition to that, instead of benefitting the independence, the United States of Indonesia should have been responsible for the internal and external debts owned by the Dutch East Indies colonial. This disadvantage caused rage among Indonesian delegations.

Again back to the issue of Western New Guinea, not only did the Dutch decline the annexation of West Papua as one of the Indonesian parts but the colonial was also reluctant to compromise the territorial matter. Most out of the Dutch people really supported the idea of transferring West Papua to Indonesia. As a final point, the compromise was reached, but it came with a condition – the sovereignty transfer required a year by the negotiations of both sides.

To make a long story short, the effort of Indonesia to fight for West Papua needs to be appreciated. Although the procedure indeed gives rise to pros and cons, the country deserves to administer West Papua.