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  • » 09/30/2010, 00.00

    INDONESIA

    Clashes between rival ethnic groups in Borneo kill five and force 32,000 from their homes

    Mathias Hariyadi

    Violence between indigenous Dayak Tidung and ethnic Bugis began last Monday following a fight that left an ethnic Dayak man dead. The government sends two special police battalions to stop the clashes.

    Jakarta (AsiaNews) – More than 32,000 people, mostly ethnic Dayak and Bugis, have fled their homes, seeking refuge in police stations and army camps. In the city of Tarakan (East Borneo), clashes continue in fact pitting indigenous Dayak Tidung against Bugis who are originally from South Sulawesi. The violence broke out on Monday when Bugis killed a Dayak man. Both groups are Muslim. So far, five people have died and dozens have been injured.

    President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono yesterday called on law enforcement agencies to restore law and order and prevent a repeat of the violence between indigenous Dayak and Madurese that left hundreds of people dead in Sampit (Kalimantan) in 2001.

    The government has sent two special police battalions to restore order in the city where groups from both ethnic groups have caused panic in the population, sacking stores and homes.

    South Sulawesi Governor Syahrul Yasin Limpo urged ethnic Bugis, who migrated to the province, not to retaliate even if they are provoked. He reassured them that over the next few days he would send a delegation to negotiate a truce with Dayak representatives.

    With more than 300 distinct ethnic groups, Indonesia has seen frequent clashes between rival ethnic groups fighting for religious, cultural or territorial reasons.

    The provinces of Poso (Central Sulawesi) and Ambon (Malaka) saw Christian and Muslim groups fight each other over the past ten years, with more than 9,000 deaths.

    In Sampit Province (western Borneo) has been traumatised by warfare between indigenous Dayak and ethnic Malayu and Madurese. Since 1998, this conflict has killed some 500 people and displaced more than 100,000.

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    See also

    29/10/2011 INDONESIA
    Traditional music lessons for young Borneo Catholics
    One week course in the region of Kapuas Hulu (West Kalimantan) for 35 young people. In Pontianak, the provincial capital, a course in choral singing for more than 200 young people. The aim of the initiative: to compose traditional Dayak songs, of the indigenous peoples of Southeast Asia.

    21/02/2012 INDONESIA
    East Kalimantan joins protest against radical Islamic FPI
    Dayak tribal and activists are asking the government to ban the extremist group, because it constitutes "a threat to interfaith harmony." After Central Kalimantan and Jakarta, other Dayak tribes are supporting the campaign. Accessions also from Muslim youth movements, committed to the promotion of dialogue between faiths.

    07/05/2007 EAST TIMOR – INDONESIA
    No human rights violations in East Timor, says General Wiranto
    Speaking before the Truth and Friendship Commission, former Indonesian army chief claims that he and his men are innocent. Violence in East Timor at the time of independence was caused by local militias. Bishop Belo’s testimony contradicts the general. After the referendum Jakarta’s soldiers destroyed the bishop’s residence in Dili and committed violent acts against the civilian population.

    19/07/2004 indonesia
    Gunmen attack Indonesian church, kill minister


    08/04/2009 INDONESIA
    Because of Easter elections postponed in predominantly Christian province of Indonesia
    Parliamentary elections were set for tomorrow. After weeks of protests Election Commission in East Nusa Tenggara delays poll till 14 April. Province’s Muslims show solidarity to Christians. Radical Muslims oppose postponement.



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