The Guardian July 26, 2000


They need our support and action

At its meeting last Friday night the United Trades and Labor Council of 
South Australia discussed the conflicts in the Moluccas, West Timor, 
Flores, Aceh and West Papua. "These are being fomented and prolonged by the 
criminal actions of key sections of the Indonesian military who have formed 
their own local militias", said the resolution adopted by the UTLC.

In the Moluccas the conflict has taken the form of sectarian violence 
between Muslims and Christians. It is being provoked by Muslim Jihad (Holy 
War) warriors who have been recruited and trained in Java and Sulawesi by 
the Indonesian military (TNI).

The TNI's tactics are similar to those used on East Timor where the 
Indonesian military formed militia groups.

Around 10,000 Jihad troops are operating all over the Maluku Islands.

On Monday June 19, they attacked and killed 156 Christians in Duma village, 
Halmahera Island. Since June 23, the violence has escalated and more Jihad 
troops have arrived in Ambon along with shipments of arms.

During the past 18 months of conflict nearly all of the 400,000 original 
Christian inhabitants of the Moluccas have been driven from their homes and 
villages, resulting in over 3000 deaths.

The Indonesian Government has continued to refuse to allow foreign aid 
agencies in to offer humanitarian assistance and journalists have been 
banned.

On July 18, the Indonesian Government indicated that it may need to seek 
assistance from the international community to control the situation.

In West Papua the TNI have been conducting genocide, terror and gross human 
rights violations since 1962.

In West Timor UN staff attempting to assist East Timorese refugees have 
been attacked.

The UTLC called on the Australian Government and the UN to take a number of 
actions "in cooperation with the Indonesian Government":

*  send a UN supervised peacekeeping force into the Moluccas and West 
Timor;

*  immediately disband and withdraw the TNI and all Muslim Jihad warriors 
from the Moluccas and the TNI militias on the West Timor/East Timor border 
and in West Papua;

*  coordinate a ban on all forms of military cooperation with the TNI;

*  immediately provide safe havens in Indonesia and elsewhere (including 
Australia) for victims of present conflicts until it is safe to return 
home;

*  immediately provide further humanitarian aid to refugees in the Moluccas 
and to East Timorese refugees held hostage in West Timor.

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