The Catholic Bishop of Ambon in Indonesia has appealed for international intervention to halt what's now being labelled an exercise in ethnic cleansing.
    Bishop Petrus Canisius Mandagi has returned home after travelling to Europe to request international intervention.
    "I feel somewhat relieved, as President Wahid has admitted the possibility of an international intervention, even if only logistic, to solve the problem of the Moluccas crisis," the Bishop told the Rome-based Fides news agency.
    He said his campaign for international intervention in the Moluccas is supported by moderate Muslims, especially Nahdlatul Ulama, the largest Islamic organization in Indonesia, of which President Wahid is a member.
    Fides sources report that the ethnic cleansing operation appears to be largely successful, with Christians rapidly disappearing from eastern Indonesia. They say that Christians remain in only three areas of the Moluccas. In other parts of the region, the Christian presence has halved.
    The bishop began his European tour in early July, accompanied by several Protestant pastors. The delegation made contact with the UN and the European Union, as well as the House of Lords in London.
    Zenit (available soon)
26 July 00

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