In the past two decades, conflict in Indonesia has transformed from large-scale episodes of communal and separatist conflicts to more mundane, small-scale acts of violence.3 Albeit far less lethal, this small-scale violence, if unaddressed, could compound on themselves and other local grievances to escalate into larger, more lethal mass atrocity crimes.4 In 2021, the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Jakarta developed the Collective Violence Early Warning (CVEW) Dataset to monitor and understand these risks. The dataset found three worrying trends: that the frequency of collective violence has increased throughout the year, that the number of interventions aiming to de-escalate violence is far lower today than a decade ago, and that collective violence is most intense in regions where socio-economic and political cohesion is most fragile like Papua.
This policy brief updates the dataset’s previous findings and provide a snapshot of Indonesia’s collective violence trends throughout 2022. After a short description of the dataset, the brief look into the general trends of collective violence by analyzing its frequency, lethality, geographic concentration, and common underlying causes. Afterward, it provides a thematic analysis of three key subjects relating to collective violence in Indonesia: the frequency and success of third-party interventions, the trends and lethality of law enforcement violence, and the patterns of separatist violence in Papua and West Papua. The policy brief will then provide key policy recommendations to relevant stakeholders.