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January 2016



A terrorist attack took place in Jakarta, Indonesia. Jakarta, located on the island of Java, is the capital of Indonesia; over 10 million people inhabit the city. Indonesia is the world's third most populous democracy and the largest Muslim-majority nation.

The Dutch began to colonize Indonesia in the early 17th century; Japan occupied the islands from 1942 to 1945. Indonesia declared its independence shortly before Japan's surrender, but it required four years of sometimes brutal fighting, intermittent negotiations, and UN mediation before the Netherlands agreed to transfer sovereignty in 1949. A period of sometimes unruly parliamentary democracy ended in 1957 when President Soekarno declared martial law and instituted "Guided Democracy." Beginning in 1967, President Suharto ruled Indonesia with his "New Order" government. After rioting toppled Suharto in 1998, free and fair legislative elections took place in 1999.

The world's largest archipelagic state, Indonesia is located in Southeastern Asia, between the Indian and Pacific Oceans; it spans three time zones. It is slightly less than three times the size of Texas with a land area of 1,811,569 sq km and a coastline of 54,716 km. Its climate is tropical, hot and humid, but can experience more moderate temperatures in its highlands. With over 17,000 islands, Indonesia's terrain is mostly coastal lowlands; the larger islands contain interior mountains. The natural hazards facing Indonesia are: occasional floods, severe droughts, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes, and forest fires. Indonesia contains the most active volcanoes int he world; 76 are historically active. The natural resources of Indonesia include: petroleum, tin, natural gas, nickel, timber, bauxite, copper, fertile soils, coal, gold, and silver.

CIA World Factbook, 12/2015

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