Renville Agreement

April 9, 2023 By Admin

The Renville Agreement: History and Significance

The Renville Agreement was a pivotal moment in the history of Indonesia. Signed on January 17, 1948, in Renville, a small town on the island of Java, this agreement marked a ceasefire between the Dutch colonial forces and the Indonesian National Revolutionaries. While the agreement did not end the conflict entirely, it was an important step towards Indonesia`s independence.


Indonesia had been a colony of the Netherlands since the 1800s. However, during World War II, the Japanese occupied Indonesia and forced the Dutch colonial government to surrender. This opened the door for Indonesian nationalists to take control of the country. In August 1945, Sukarno, the leader of the Indonesian National Revolutionaries, proclaimed the country`s independence. However, the Dutch refused to recognize this claim and tried to retake their colony by force.

The Conflict

The Indonesian National Revolution was a brutal conflict that lasted from 1945 until 1949. It resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of people and left large parts of the country in ruins. In December 1948, the Indonesian military launched a major offensive against Dutch forces, hoping to drive them out of the country once and for all. However, the Dutch had superior military technology and a well-trained army, and they were able to push back the Indonesian forces.

The Renville Agreement

By January 1948, both sides were exhausted and ready for a break. The United Nations intervened and called for a ceasefire. The Renville Agreement was the result of these negotiations. The agreement established a demarcation line between Dutch-controlled areas and Indonesian-controlled areas. It also established a Joint Committee to oversee the implementation of the agreement and set a deadline for a final settlement of the conflict.


The Renville Agreement was a significant moment in Indonesian history. It marked the first time that the Dutch recognized the Indonesian nationalists as a legitimate political force. It also provided a much-needed break in the violence that had been raging for several years. However, the agreement was not perfect. The demarcation line was arbitrary and did not take into account the ethnic and cultural differences between the two sides. It also did not address the issue of Indonesian independence.


The Renville Agreement was a key moment in the history of Indonesia. While it did not end the conflict, it marked an important step towards a final settlement. Today, the agreement is remembered as a symbol of the struggle for Indonesian independence and the sacrifices made by those who fought for it.