a memorial for all wars: the Polynational War Memorial

PRRI and Permesta revolts in Indonesia

Years: 1957-1961
Battle deaths: 27,200 [1]

Published prior to 2013 | Altered: 2013-08-02 16:49:55


Two revolts against central Indonesian rule followed the proclamation of "Guided Democracy" by the Indonesian president Sukarno in February 1957.

Permesta was a rebel movement in Indonesia, its name based on Piagam Perjuangan Semesta (Universal Struggle Charter). It was declared by civil and military leaders in East Indonesia on 2 March 1957. The center of the movement was in Manado, and the movement was led by Colonel Ventje Sumual. Alexander Evert Kawilarang resigned his position as Indonesian military attache in the USA to become a general in the Permesta army. The Permesta rebels fought against central government troops until the last remnants surrendered and were given an amnesty in 1961.

The Revolutionary Government of the Republic of Indonesia (Indonesian: Pemerintah Revolusioner Republik Indonesia/PRRI) was a rebel movement led by army officers of the Indonesian Army. The rebellion included Dewan Banteng in Central Sumatra, Dewan Gajah in East Sumatra and Dewan Garuda in South Sumatra. In 15 February 1958 Lieutenant Colonel Ahmad Hussein declared the existence of PRRI.

CIA support of the Permesta rebels came in the form of 15 B-26 bombers and some P-51 Mustang fighters which formed the insurgent airforce AUREV (Angkatan Udara Revolusioner) based on Manado airfield, large amounts of weapons and equipment, significant funds, plus an international cast of CIA agents and mercenaries from Taiwan, Poland, the Philippines and the USA.

Responding to rebel and insurgent attacks, President Sukarno ordered the Indonesian military to crush the PRRI-Permesta rebellion. A series of air raids by the Indonesian Air Force (AURI) on Manado destroyed most of the rebel B-26 planes.

Meanwhile, a rebel B-26 bomber was shot down on 18 May 1958 by Indonesian pilot Ignatius Dewanto over Ambon. The B-26 pilot, the American CIA agent Allen Pope, was captured and exposed the CIA’s deep involvement in the rebellion. Consequently the CIA began to withdraw its support of the rebellion.

In August 1958 the PRRI rebellion ended and the government in Jakarta regained control of the rebel areas.

Indonesian troops quickly expelled the Permesta rebels from Manado, after which they maintained guerrilla resistance around the Lake Tondano area. However, the central government started a successful campaign offering amnesties to induce surrenders. Rebels who had many familial and amicable relationships with many of the central government soldiers began to surrender. The last Permesta rebels surrendered and swore an oath of loyalty to the central government in 1961.

This article was based on the following Wikipedia articles retrieved 2013-08-02: History of Indonesia, Permesta, PRRI

Nation(s) involved with troops in this war (in some cases the modern-day state(s) in the contested territory) .

• Indonesia
• United States
Notes on fatalities

[1] Battle deaths: Correlates of War, Intra-State War Data v4.1


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