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Fresh Violence Could Erupt in Maluku, Warns Military

Separatists ‘threatening to renew old conflicts’. Even as the military campaign to quell the separatist movement in Aceh shows no sign of coming to a speedy end, fresh trouble is brewing in another trouble spot – Maluku, where separatist and sectarian violence is threatening the province. Maluku’s Pattimura military commander Major-General Agustadi Sasongko Purnomo hinted there were groups that were interested in stirring up trouble and renewing the conflict in the province. He identified two of them as the South Maluku Republic (RMS) separatist movement and its military wing, the Maluku Liberation Front (FKM). ‘Another is a group of people who will take advantage of the instability,’ the military chief told reporters after attending the 42nd anniversary celebration of the 733rd Infantry Battalion here. He said the province still had to deal with the problems that ensued following the 1999 religious unrest, and this would need the full participation of all elements in society to prevent past conflicts from re-emerging. Full Story

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