A Brief History of Acheh


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Brief History of Acheh











































Early History - Acheh was a Buddhist state that flourished about AD 500 in northern Sumatra, was visited by Arab, Indian, and Chinese merchants and pilgrims. According to some historians, Islam first entered the Malay archipelago through Acheh sometime around the year 700. The first Islamic kingdom is Perlak, established in the year 804.


1496–1528 - Sultan Ali Mughayat Syah ,# the first Sultan and founder of the Kingdom of Acheh. He is regarded as the father of Acheh's unification.

1607–1636 - Sultan Iskandar Muda.# The era of Iskandar Muda is regarded as the Golden Age of Acheh. Acheh's power reached its height under his reign. In that period there were frequent wars with the Portuguese at Malacca, and the Portuguese fleet was defeated at Bintan in 1614.

1641 – 1699 - Acheh ruled consecutively by four queens. #

1819 - The Acheh-England Friendship Treaty was signed, firmly stating mutual defense and that an attack against one is considered an attack against the other. This treaty has never been revoked and under international law the United Kingdom is still obliged to defend Acheh from any foreign aggression.

1824 - London Treaty (also referred to as the Anglo-Dutch treaty #) was signed. Through this instrument, the Dutch gained control of all the British possessions on the Island of Sumatra, including Acheh. In exchange, the Dutch surrendered their possessions in India, Gold Coast

(present Ghana) and withdrew all claims in Singapore.

26 March 1873 - Dutch Invasion: #The Netherlands began efforts to colonize Acheh, which had been an independent sultanate for some 500 years. After a bloody 30-year struggle, the Dutch gained control but never fully conquered Acheh.

1874–1903 - # Tuanku Sultan Mohammad Daud Syah, the last Sultan of an independent Acheh

1942 – 1945 - Japanese Interegnum: The Japanese occupied Acheh during World War II. #

1945 – 1949 - Lost Period:

1949 - On December 27, the Dutch East Indies ceased to exist and became the Republic of Indonesia. Acheh was forcibly made part of the new Republic despite the fact that it had never been formally incorporated into the Dutch colonial possession. In other words, the Dutch had illegally transferred ”sovereignty over Acheh to Indonesia.

1953-1962 - Darul Islam Movement. #

4 December1976 - Acheh Sumatra National Liberation Front (ASNLF) established and Acheh declared independent again. #

1989-1998: Acheh is designated as Military Operational Area – DOM. # The Indonesian military launched Operation Red Net, a counterinsurgency campaign. Ten of thousands Achehnese civilians

killed during that period and many more tortured and disappeared.

2003 - Martial law was imposed in Acheh. Some 50,000 military and police forces launched “Operasi Terpadu” (unified operation) to eradicate Free Acheh Movement (GAM).#

19 May 2004 - # Martial law ended, replaced by a state of civil emergency. This made almost no difference to the situation as violence and repression continued.

26 Dec. 2004 - # The devastatingTsunami hit Acheh, and about 200.000 Achehnese perished, while another 500,000 were displaced.

15 Augustus 2005 - # Helsinky Peace Accord called MOU signed between the Indonesian government and the Free Acheh Movement (GAM). But dispite the peace accord, some GAMs factions continued to seek independence from Indonesia.

April 2011 - ASNLF reactivated at a world-wide Achehnese meeting in Denmark. #

July 2013 - ASNLF re-admitted as a member of Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO)




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By: Wekker (Ex: Officer of the army of Netherlands East Indies), Published by de Avondpost, the Hague, 1907, 160pp.