The Netherlands apologies for Indonesia executions

The Dutch ambassador to Indonesia has made a formal apology for all the summary executions carried out by the Dutch army between 1945 and 1947 in the former Dutch Indies.

The apology is part of a settlement made between the Netherlands and widows from South Sulawesi, whose men were executed without trial by Dutch soldiers in 1946 and 1947. The widows can also claim compensation for their husbands’ deaths.

The widows themselves were not at the cultural centre in Jakarta to hear the apology because they are too old and sick to travel, Nos television said. The ambassador will travel later to Sulawesi to meet the women in person.

The Dutch military interventions in Indonesia, or Dutch Indies as it was known then, followed the proclamation of the independent Republic of Indonesia in 1945 and lasted until the country formally gained independence in 1949 after a bloody struggle.

Thousands of Indonesian independence fighters were executed by the Dutch.

At the end of 2011, the Netherlands finally formally apologised for the massacre of hundreds of men and boys in the Javanese village of Rawagede in 1947. Those widows, too, have been given compensation.

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