Indonesia: Another Breakaway Province


April 11, 2006: Indonesia is under increasing international pressure for the way it runs Papua. Indonesia fears that it might end up losing control of Papua, to a UN peacekeeping force, the same way it lost East Timor. Papua, like East Timor, is populated largely by Melanesians, a different ethnic group from the Malays, who comprise the bulk of Indonesia's population. Threats to Papua are much more inflammatory, because East Timor has already been lost, and because Papua contains a lot more valuable natural resources than East Timor.

April 10, 2006: In Papua, separatists attacked troops, leaving two rebels and two soldiers dead.

April 8, 2006: Two students found a cache of 40 home made bombs in Central Sulawesi cemetery. Religious violence in the area has been suppressed, but tensions remain. These bombs may have been left over from earlier violence, and abandoned by fighters who have since been killed or imprisoned.

April 6, 2006: Two more men were arrested and accused of terrorist activity. The government receives more leads from an aroused public, and cooperation with foreign intelligence agencies.

April 5, 2006: In western Indonesia, a bomb went off in a police base, killing two policemen and wounding two others.

March 26, 2006: In West Java, a mob of Islamic conservatives forced a Christian church to close. It was a new church, and the Islamic activists insisted the paperwork was not in order. Pressure from Islamic activists has led to laws that make it very difficult for new Christian churches to be established. This has caused a lot of unrest. The Christian missionaries find many Moslems eager to convert, as the increasing popularity of Islamic conservatism is imposing unpopular new customs on many Indonesians.


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