South Moluccas: UNPO press release on the unrest in the Molluccas
For immediate release
The Hague, 28 June 2000
The 52 Members of the UNPO (Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation), representing more than 100 million people throughout the world, take this opportunity to express their profound concern about the ongoing crises in Ambon, South Molluccas, Indonesia.
The unrest in the Molluccas, which has now been going on for nearly one and a half years and has claimed the lives of thousands of civilians and destroyed houses and other facilities, originally started as a conflict between certain Muslim and Christian groups. However, since the arrival of thousands of so-called ‘Komando Jihad’ troops, equipped with modern weapons, it can no longer be looked upon as a conflict. It has now become a straightforward endeavour to cleanse the Molluccas from all that is Christian.
At present, the so-called ‘Komando-Jihad’ is coordinating and leading attacks on the Christian population. The Christian population are now concentrated in several areas, making easy targets for attacks. The ‘Komando-Jihad’ are attacking police headquarters in Ambon. Their weapons are ransacked, plundered, and confiscated. The police no longer have anything to defend themselves with, not to mention to defend the population under severe attack.
If urgent steps are not taken to stop this ‘religious cleansing’ there is a very real danger that the violence will spread to the rest of Indonesia. Indeed, given the multi-religious character of other societies in Southeast Asia, it is not inconceivable that the Molluccas tragedy will have repercussions elsewhere in the region.
Therefore, we call upon the Indonesian government to take strong and swift measures to stop the ‘religious cleansing’ in Ambon, establish peace and order in the region and restore inter-religious harmony between Muslims and Christians. If the government of Indonesia is incapable, it should let the United Nations and other international organisations intervene.
UNPO PRESS(June 28, 2000)