Indonesia: February 28, 2002


One of Indonesia's many conflicts is the one on Sulawesi island between the Christians and Moslems. While 90% of Indonesia is Moslem, the population on Sulawesi is almost evenly divided between Moslems and Christians. A low-level conflict has been going on there for three years. All of that changed in October when a new group of heavily-armed and highly-trained Moslem guerrillas arrived and began destroying Christian villages. This previously-unknown group, Laskar Jihad, is run by Jafar Umar Thalib, and is comprised of graduates of the al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan. Thalib has been photographed in comradely scenes with bin Laden. Laskar Jihad may well have been the final graduating class of the al Qaeda academy.--Stephen V Cole

In the Malukus, a large peace demonstration (to support the new peace agreement) was held by Moslems and Christians. The locals are largely in favor of peace, but several hundred armed Moslem radicals are not.




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