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Reviewed: 08 May 2012, 17:05 NZDT
Still current at: 24 May 2013
There is some risk to your security in Indonesia, and we advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Indonesia, including Jakarta and Bali, due to the continuing threat from terrorism.
There is high risk to your security in Central Sulawesi, Maluku and Papua provinces due to the high threat from terrorism, civil unrest and the risk of kidnapping and we advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel to these areas.
There have been a number of terrorist attacks in recent years in Jakarta and on Bali, resulting in the deaths of significant numbers of Indonesians and foreigners. While effective counter-terrorism measures by Indonesian authorities have reduced the risk of terrorist attacks, terrorist cells still exist and have the capacity to carry out attacks anywhere in the country. Accordingly, you are advised to maintain a high level of security awareness when travelling in Indonesia.
Five suspected terrorists were killed by Indonesian counter-terrorist police in Sanur and Denpasar, Bali, on 18 March 2012.
Two suicide attacks on places of worship were carried out in 2011. In September 2011 a number of people were injured in a suicide bomb attack at a Christian church in Central Java, while in April 2011 a suicide bombing in West Java killed the bomber and injured around thirty others.
The last terrorist attack against Western targets in Indonesia occurred in July 2009, when two suicide bomb attacks took place at the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott hotels in the Mega Kuningan district of Jakarta, killing eight people and injuring more than 50 others.
Further terrorist attacks like the Bali bombings of October 2005 (which killed 20 and injured over 100) and October 2002 (which killed 202), cannot be ruled out. The most likely targets are areas frequented by foreigners. Possible targets for terrorist attacks include (but are not limited to) embassies, hotels, bars, restaurants (including fast food outlets), identifiably Western businesses, shopping malls, schools, places of worship, tourist resorts, residential areas and all other areas where foreigners tend to gather. Particular care should be taken around locations that have a low level of protective security.
We advise you to avoid public gatherings and locations frequented by foreigners in Bali, and elsewhere in Indonesia, particularly around festivals and holidays.
Demonstrations are a feature of Indonesian life, especially in Jakarta. Most demonstrations pass without incident, but we advise New Zealanders to avoid all demonstrations, rallies and large crowds as they have the potential to turn violent with little warning.
Aceh (some risk)
You should exercise a high degree of caution if travelling to Aceh, particularly in remote areas. Indonesian authorities and the Free Aceh Movement signed a peace agreement in August 2005, officially ending hostilities. Although the situation has stabilised, the overall security situation remains unsettled. A small number of attacks targeting foreigners occurred in late 2009. In early 2010 police disrupted an armed group in Aceh province. There was a spate of armed attacks in Aceh from December 2011 to March 2012 believed to be related to the 9 April election for governor. New Zealanders are advised to avoid all political gatherings and demonstrations as they have the potential to turn violent with little warning.
Central Sulawesi (including to Palu, Poso and Tentena) (high risk)
We advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel to Central Sulawesi. The security situation is fragile, stemming from long-standing religious tensions and terrorist activity.
Maluku (particularly Ambon) (high risk)
We advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel to Maluku. Long-standing communal tensions including religious tensions remain in the province of Maluku. Clashes in Ambon in September 2011 resulted in several deaths. The situation in Maluku is currently stable but the potential for violence remains.
Papua Province (high risk)
We advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel to Papua province. The security situation remains unpredictable. Political tensions associated with anti-government groups, local rivalries and possible deliberate provocation can lead to violent clashes. Sporadic violence has occurred in recent months, including in Jayapura, parts of the central highlands, and in and near Timika (the service town for the Freeport Mine). There have been unexplained shootings near Timika. If you are travelling to Papua or West Papua provinces for reasons other than tourism, a travel permit from National Police Headquarters in Jakarta is required. There is a risk of kidnapping in Papua province.
Indonesia is located in an active seismic zone (known as the ring of fire), and is prone to earthquakes with the potential threat of tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. Slips and flooding are also common in mountainous and remote areas. There are a number of active volcanoes in Indonesia and many have high alert levels which, at times, can necessitate the evacuation of people within a 3 – 6 km radius. These volcanoes erupt from time to time and in the past have caused destruction and loss of life. Ash clouds have caused disruptions to flights, although ash clouds rarely disrupt travel within the main tourist areas. New Zealanders are advised to exercise caution, check news reports and follow local advice before travelling to areas within Indonesia that are prone to volcanic activity. Daily updates (in Indonesian) can be found on the Indonesian Directorate of Volcanolgy and Geological Mitigations website and Smithsonian Institution’s weekly udpdates. More information is available from the Humanitarian Early Warning Service.
Piracy is a problem in South East Asian waters, particularly in the Straits of Malacca and in the waters between Sabah in Malaysia and the southern Philippines. Mariners are advised to take appropriate precautionary measures in these waters. For more information, view the International Maritime Bureau’s piracy report.
General travel advice
New Zealanders in Indonesia are advised to exercise a very high degree of personal security awareness at all times, choose their destinations and activities carefully and ensure appropriate security arrangements are in place. We recommend you monitor the media and local information sources for any new information on potential threats to your safety and adhere to any restrictions and instructions issued by the local authorities. New Zealanders are advised to respect religious and social traditions in Indonesia to avoid offending local sensitivities.
New Zealanders travelling or living in Indonesia should have comprehensive medical and travel insurance policies in place that include provision for medical evacuation by air.
New Zealanders travelling or resident in Indonesia are strongly encouraged to register/update their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
For other countries' travel advice
Contact details are:
Street Address Sentral Senayan 2, 10th Floor, Jl Asia Afrika No 8, Gelora Bung Karno, Jakarta Pusat 10270, Indonesia
Postal Address PO Box 2349 JKT 10024, Jakarta 10210, Indonesia
Telephone (+ 62 21) 2995 5800 Facsimile (+ 62 21) 5797 4578
Office Hours Mon-Thurs 0730 – 1600 hrs, Fri 0730 – 1300 hrs