Nach Asia Human Rights Watch

INDONESIA: Five More Killed in Kalimantan

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Communal violence in Central Kalimantan which has left at least 500 dead since it first erupted six weeks ago has claimed another five lives, police said on Sunday.
"The bodies of five men were found on the main road to Kotabesi yesterday (Saturday), some 30 minutes from Sampit," Kotawaringin Timur Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Petrus Hardono told The Jakarta Post from the regency town of Sampit.
The five bodies -- believed to have been killed just a few hours prior to their discovery -- appeared to be Madurese men, he said.
"Residents found the bodies early on Saturday but the police were only notified the following evening," officer Petrus said.
The victims are believed to have come from Jepaga, an area close to the border of Kotabesi subdistrict, and were probably part of a group who had chosen to remain in the forest, he said. "The fatalities were probably Madurese who grew hungry and eventually came out of hiding but on their way encountered some Dayaks," he said.
The bodies all bore slash wounds but their heads were not severed and remained intact, he said. "We cannot tell who really killed them but we hope that none of these incidents will reoccur. "
"I think there are still hundreds of Madurese hiding in the forests near Sampit... we have urged them to come out and have offered them the assistance of the military to provide security but it seems that they want to remain in hiding," the officer said.
Petrus, however, said that in general the situation in Sampit has been calm over the past few weeks, and "markets, schools and shops have been busy." "The curfew in Sampit was lifted about three weeks ago though people have generally opted to stay at home and avoid nighttime travel," he added.
Tension also rose in Pangkalan Bun, capital of West Kotawaringin regency in Central Kalimantan, where acts of alleged arson towards Madurese-owned houses were still taking place late on Saturday, Antara reported. West Kotawaringin regency is about 229 kilometers away from East Kotawaringin regency.
The fires took place on Jl. Ahmad Yani in Baru subdistrict of Arut Selatan district, forcing security forces to fire warning shots in an attempt to disperse the anxious local crowds. Residents have conducted intense neighborhood watch security schemes in their respective areas and built road blocks.
"The fires razed the houses of two Madurese, Haj Senah and Israel. We are still investigating the cause of the incident," Kotawaringin Barat Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Jusman Aer said as quoted by the news agency.
No fatalities were reported in the blaze.
The officer further explained that there are a total of 1,669 personnel deployed in Pangkalan Bun, 1,289 of whom are members of the military while the remainder are from the police.
Officer Jusman called on locals to stay calm and not to be easily provoked by ambiguous incidents and rumors. "If people see something suspicious, they should report the matter to the police immediately rather than take the law into their own hands," he said.
Violence between the indigenous Dayak tribesmen and migrant settlers from Madura, an island off the coast of East Java, first erupted in Sampit on Feb. 18 and quickly spread to Palangkaraya and Kualakapuas. Since then, more than 80,000 Madurese have fled or been evacuated from the province.
Source: Jakarta Post
Posted on 2001-04-02