The agreement of Renville is an agreement between the Netherlands and the Republic of Indonesia under the auspices of the Security Council of the UN . Ratified on January 17, 1948, this agreement was an attempt to resolve the disputes that arose as a result of the Linggarjati agreement signed in 1946. It established a ceasefire along a line called the ” Van Mook Line “. , named after the Dutch governor general , who linked the most advanced Dutch positions.

The agreement is named after USS Renville , the US warship stationed in Jakarta Bay , on which negotiations had been held.


Main articles: Linggarjati Accord and Operatie Product .

The st August 1947, an Australian resolution calling for a cease-fire between Dutch and Indonesians is passed by the UN Security Council . The Lieutenant Governor General Batavian of the Dutch East Indies , Hubertus van Mook Johannes , orders the cease-fire on August 5 1 .

On 25 August, the Council adopts a resolution submitted by the United States proposing that the latter offer its good offices to peacefully resolve the hollando-indonesian conflict. This mediation was to take the form of a ” Committee of Good Offices ” – consisting of three representatives, one from the Netherlands , the other from the Indonesian party and a third co-opted from agreement. The Dutch chose a Belgian representative , the Indonesians an Australianrepresentative and both chose an American as the third member 2 , 3 .

A few days later, on August 29, 1947, the Dutch defined the “Van Mook Line” as marking the boundary of the area they controlled at the time of the ceasefire. But it included in it areas that they had not yet taken over. The Indonesian republic was left with a third of the island of Java and most of that of Sumatra , but the separatists were deprived of the main agricultural feeding areas. The Dutch blockade was still cut off their arms supplies, food and clothing 5 .

Beginning of negotiations

After long discussions, the parties agreed to hold the conference on neutral ground. The United States put at the disposal of the negotiators troop transport USS Renville anchored in the Bay of Jakarta and the first informal meeting of the Committee began December 8, 1947 6 , 7 .

The Indonesian delegation was led by Amir Sjarifuddin , assisted by Johannes Leimena ; on the Dutch side, the delegation was led by Jhr. Van Vredenburg, seconded by Colonel Abdulkadir Widjojoatmodjo 6 .

On December 26th, the negotiations being deadlocked, the Committee issued a “Christmas message” proposing a truce with the “Van Mook line” as a dividing line, the Dutch retreating to the lines held before the Operation Product of July and the Indonesian Republicans taking over the civil administration of the areas thus evacuated. The Indonesians accepted the proposal without reservation, but the Dutch only partially accepted it, putting forward twelve counter-proposals. These included the request for free elections that would allow residents to decide the nature of their relations with the future United States of Indonesia and, for both sides, the guarantee of freedom of assemblyand expression . The Dutch refused to withdraw their troops and the passage under Indonesian administration areas back under their control 8 .

The Dutch pressures on the sidelines of negotiations

On 19 December, the Dutch Prime Minister, visiting Medan , said there must be a quick fix and that it would be “very unfortunate if this last call was not heard” 9 . Ten days later, Van Mook announced the establishment of the state of East Sumatra, indicating that the Dutch persisted in the process of forming a federal state. Then, on January 4, 1948, the Dutch organized a conference of representatives they had selected in the 10 regions of Indonesia. These representatives agreed to form an interim federal government pending the proclamation of the United States of Indonesia, with the Republic of Indonesia being invited to attend..

The agreement

On 9 January, the Dutch delegation warns that if the Indonesian side does not accept its proposals within three days, it will seek further instructions from its government. The good offices committee makes six proposals in response to the twelve made by the Dutch. Among these provisions: the maintenance of Dutch sovereignty until its transfer to the United States of Indonesia or the Republic of Indonesia; equitable representation of each component of the Provisional Federal State within its government; a referendum within six months to ask people if they want to see their region associated with the Republic of Indonesia or the United States of Indonesia and the establishment of a constituent convention for the elaboration of a constitution.Republic of the United States of Indonesia (in Indonesian Republik Indonesia Serikat , or RIS) 11 .

The Dutch replied that they were ready to accept these provisions if the Indonesians did the same and also accepted their twelve proposals before January 12th. After a 48-hour extension of negotiations and discussions to clarify the Dutch proposals, Dr. Frank Graham, the US member of the Committee, convinced the Indonesian Republicans to accept, saying they could count on the influence of the United States. United to force the Dutch to hold their share of the market. The Indonesian representation understood that the regional referendums would bring the victory of pro-Republicans and that they would be able to impose themselves on the federal government. Graham also assured Amir Sjarifuddin that the United States would provide the entire12 , 13 .

At first, President Soekarno and Vice President Hatta opposed the agreement but after hearing reports of the lack of ammunition and fearing the resumption of hostilities by the Dutch if the agreements were not signed they finally accepted it, being equally reluctant to assume responsibility for further civilian and military casualties if the fighting continued. After Dutchmen and Indonesian Republicans agreed to a truce along the “Van Mook Line” as well as the proposals of the committee and the Dutch, the agreement was signed on the bridge of the USS Renville on January 17, 1948 14 , 15 .


  • En ) Henri Grimal: “Accord Renville “, in Decolonization: 1919-1963 , A. Colin, Paris, 1965, p.  251 and following.
  • In ) Ide Anak Agung Gde Agung (1973): Twenty Years Indonesian Foreign Policy: 1945-1965 , Sheep & Co ( ISBN  978-979-8139-06-2 )
  • In ) Kahin, George McTurnan (1952): Nationalism and Revolution in Indonesia , Cornell University Press , ( ISBN  978-0-8014-9108-5 )
  • nl ) Ide Anak Agung Gde Agung: ” Renville ‘als keerpunt in de Nederlands-Indonesische onderhandelingen ” (“The Renville at a crossroads in the Dutch-Indonesian negotiations”), AW Sijthoff, Alphen Aan den Rijn, 1980, 403 p. (thesis defended at the University of Utrecht, contains a summary in English)

Notes and references


  • In ) This article is partially or entirely from the article in English entitled ” Renville Agreement ” ( see the list of authors ) .
  1. ↑ Ide Anak Agung (1973), pp. 34-35.
  2. ↑ Ide Anak Agung (1973), p. 34.
  3. ↑ Kahin (1952) p. 217.
  4. ↑ Kahin (1952), p. 233
  5. ↑ Kahin (1952) pp. 218-221.
  6. ↑ a and b Ide Anak Agung (1973), p.36.
  7. ↑ Kahin (1952), p. 224.
  8. ↑ Kahin (1952), pp. 224-229.
  9. ↑ Ide Anak Agung (1973), p. 37.
  10. ↑ Kahin (1952), p. 225.
  11. ↑ Kahin (1952), pp. 224-226.
  12. ↑ Kahin (1952), pp. 226-228.
  13. ↑ Ide Anak Agung (1973), p. 39.
  14. ↑ Kahin (1952), pp. 228-229.
  15. ↑ Ide Anak Agung, (1973) pp. 38-39.