The conflict in Ambon intensified in April 2000, when about 3000 militia belonging to the Islamist organization Laskar Jihad arrived from Java to join the struggle from Java. Laskar Jihad units had superior weapons and communications equipment and they appear to have had the backing of some local military commanders. Their strategy was to target and eliminate Christian enclaves, so as to create larger areas of contiguous Muslim territory on the island. They also conducted operations on the neighbouring islands of Seram, Kesui and Teor. It is estimated that 2000 Christian militia members were killed in the battles.
Crouch, Harold, Political Reform in Indonesia after Soeharto (Singapore: ISEAS, 2010).
Klinken, Gerry van, ‘The Maluku Wars: Bringing Society Back In’, Indonesia 71 (April 2001), pp. 1-26.
Air Manis, Air Salobar, Airlou, Al Fatah, Allang, Ambon, Asitulu, Batu Dua, Batumerah, Ema, Eri, Halong, Haruru, Hative Besar, Hitulama, Hitumesing, Hukurita, Hunut, Kebun Cengkeh, Keitetu, Larike, Latuhalar, Leahan, Liang, Lilibeoi, Mahia, Mamala, Mamua, Morela, Nania, Negerilama, Negerilima, Paso, Poka, Rumah Tiga, Seith, Seri, Soya, Suli, Tapi, Tengah Tengah, Tial Islam, Tial Serani, Tulehu, Ureng, Waai, Waitatiri, Wakal, Wakasihu, Wayame