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Agrarian conflicts worse in Jokowi era than in SBY era, NGOs say

Tempo - March 19, 2024

Irsyan Hasyim (Contributor), Jakarta – Several environmental NGOs have noted that agrarian conflicts have become more frequent in the era of President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo (2014-2024) compared to the era of Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (2009-2014).

Rukka Sombolinggi, secretary-general of the Indigenous Peoples Alliance (AMAN), said that the Job Creation Law and various policies in the agricultural and natural resources sectors are the latest signals that the regime has not worked to protect and fulfill people's rights guaranteed by the Constitution over the past decade.

"The state continues to put forward legal scenarios," Rukka said at a press conference with other civil society organizations in Jakarta on Monday, March 18, 2024.

Dewi Kartika, secretary-general of the Consortium for Agrarian Reform (KPA), added that in the past nine years (2015-2023), there have been at least 2,939 agrarian conflicts covering an area of 6.3 million hectares, affecting 1.7 million families of farmers, agricultural workers, fishermen, and the indigenous community.

At least 2,442 farmers and agrarian fighters have been criminalized, 905 people have been assaulted, 84 have been shot, and 72 have died in agrarian conflict zones. These situations are much worse than in the previous decade.

"During the SBY's administration, there were 1,520 agrarian conflicts covering an area of 5.7 million hectares and affecting 900,000 families of farmers were affected. A total of 1,354 farmers and agrarian fighters were criminalized, 553 people were assaulted, 110 people were shot, and 70 people died," said Dewi.

WALHI Executive Director Zenzi Suhadi highlighted that efforts to resolve agrarian conflicts, restore the environment, overcome the climate crisis, and protect and fulfill human rights, have experienced setbacks due to various political policies including the Job Creation Law and the revised Mineral and Coal Law.

"If this situation continues, it will get worse in the era of the new president and vice president that will result from the 2024 election. Because it (the election) is tainted with fraud and political agendas to perpetuate President Jokowi's political dynasty," Suhadi assessed.

Source: https://en.tempo.co/read/1846942/agrarian-conflicts-worse-in-jokowi-era-than-in-sby-era-ngos-sa