This travel advice has been revised and reissued.
16 December 2004
This travel advice has been revised and reissued.
New Zealanders should defer non-essential and tourist travel to Indonesia (including Bali, Batam and Bintan) until further notice. New Zealanders in Indonesia who are concerned for their safety should consider departing.
Credible information has been received suggesting that terrorists are ready to carry out an attack shortly in Indonesia, possibly targeting a Hilton Hotel. Other targets cannot be ruled out. In view of this new information, New Zealanders in Jakarta and throughout Indonesia, are advised to avoid all international hotels and other places where foreigners are known to gather.
In the lead up to and over the Christmas and New Year period we continue to receive reports that terrorists in the region are planning attacks against a range of targets. These attacks could occur at any time, anywhere in Indonesia and could be directed against any locations known to be frequented by foreigners.
Terrorists have shown that they have the means and motivation to carry out successful attacks. The bomb attack outside the Australian Embassy on 9 September 2004 underlines the ongoing terrorist threat in Indonesia.
Further attacks against Indonesian government targets and Western interests, including in Jakarta, could occur at any time so these and areas of cultural or historical significance should also be avoided.
New Zealanders who do travel to Indonesia should observe a high level of security awareness in public, choose their destinations and activities carefully, avoid places where westerners are known to gather such as hotels, clubs, bars, shopping malls, tourist resorts and places of worship, and consider carefully the need for any travel within Indonesia. They should treat very seriously any threats, including bomb threats that may be made against them or the premises they occupy.
Demonstrations are a feature of Indonesian life, especially in Jakarta. Most demonstrations pass without incident, but we advise New Zealanders to avoid demonstrations and large crowds.
The advice above applies throughout Indonesia without exception.
We offer the following additional comments on particular regions.
We advise against all travel to Aceh, on the northern tip of Sumatra. The Indonesian Government replaced martial law in Aceh with a state of civil emergency in May 2004 and this was extended for another six months in November 2004. The security situation remains uncertain. New Zealanders in Aceh should leave. Waters inside the 12 nautical mile limit around Aceh are closed to foreign shipping.
In (West) Papua the security situation remains unpredictable and there is a risk of kidnapping. We advise against all travel to (West) Papua. Permits are required for all travel to Papua, except Jayapura and Biak.
We advise against all travel to Sulawesi. Violence continues. The Abu Sayyaf terrorist group’s practice of kidnapping foreigners in the south western Phiilippines poses a risk to foreigners in areas closest to the Philippines, such as North Sulawesi, and especially in outlying islands. There is a history of sectarian clashes in Poso and neighbouring areas in Central Sulawesi. Tensions flared again in October and November 2003 with at least 19 fatalities. Makassar (Ujung Pandang), the capital of South Sulawesi, and Manado, the capital of North Sulawesi, have been the scenes of bombings. Threats against Westerners and western interests remain high.
The situation in West Timor remains unpredictable, particularly in areas near the border region with Timor Leste (East Timor). New Zealanders are advised not to travel to areas outside Kupang and near the border area with East Timor.
We advise against all travel to Maluku. In April 2004 long simmering inter-religious tensions in Maluku province escalated with serious violence in Ambon. Around 40 persons were killed. The Indonesian army was deployed to the region to restore order. The situation in Maluku and north Maluku remains unsettled.
The Abu Sayyaf terrorist group’s practice of kidnapping foreigners in the southwestern Philippines, near Indonesia, poses a risk to foreigners in northern Kalimantan region.
New Zealanders travelling to Indonesia as tourists should either obtain a visa from an Indonesian diplomatic post before they travel, or purchase one on arrival at one of the main air or seaports. A three day visa costs US$10 and a 30 day visa costs US$25. Payment must be made in US dollars on arrival. It is recommended that travellers have the exact US dollars cash available as not all entry points have full bank facilities in place. The visas are non-extendable and cannot be converted to any other type of stay permit. If you are in any doubt about your situation, or if you are travelling for purposes other than tourism, you should check with an Indonesian Embassy or Consulate.
New Zealanders resident in or travelling to Indonesia should have comprehensive medical insurance policies that include provision for medical evacuation by air, as many parts of Indonesia do not have high-quality medical facilities. Good quality treatment is often expensive by New Zealand standards. New Zealanders should also keep in mind that many insurance policies have terrorism exclusion clauses.
New Zealanders in Indonesia are encouraged to record their details with:
The New Zealand Embassy BRI II Building, 23rd floor Jln, Jend Sudirman Kav. 44-46 (PO Box 2349 JKT 10024), Jakarta 10210, Indonesia.