Delegation in Geneva over Moluccan crisis

 A Christian delegation from Indonesia arrived in Geneva at the end of last week to request the intervention of the UN Security Council and Human Rights Commission in the Moluccan Islands conflict. Headed by the Bishop of Ambon, Mgr Petrus Mandagi, the group also includes the leader of the Evangelical Protestant church and the president of the Moluccas Protestant church. The European parliament has discussed the necessity a of international intervention. On Thursday night a resolution was approved launching an appeal to the 15 member states and the EU commission to send in a team of international observers. More than 4,000 have been killed since the Jihad fighters began their attacks on the Christian communities in the Moluccas. According to missionaries working in the area, rumours were circulating at the weekend that the guerrillas were planning a massive attack today (Monday). Fr Ulahaiyanan, a diocesan priest from Ambon said several Moslems, not involved in the fighting, had warned Christian friends to leave the island by today. He said the village of Galala, north of Ambon City, was in serious danger and Passo, a town north of Galala, was reaching crisis point as tens of thousands of refugees were passing through each day. He said there were severe shortages of food and medicine. Christian families are escaping into the hills, he said, but the Jihad fighters were closing in on them. "The people are terrified," he said. "They need to be evacuated immediately."

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