Friday, March 19, 1999 Published at 14:22 GMT
Ethnic violence shakes Borneo
Security forces in Indonesian Borneo are patrolling burned-out villages, after three days of ethnic fighting in which more than 60 people are reported to have been killed.
Using a shoot-to-kill order, police and soldiers forced hundreds of rioters armed with knives and swords to return to their homes, leaving bodies in the streets.
Two years ago several hundred Madurese immigrants were killed by Dayaks trying to drive them out of West Kalimantan.
The latest trouble reportedly broke out after a Madurese man was discovered carrying a concealed weapon, in defiance of an agreement between the ethnic communities.
Ethnic, not religious hatred
BBC Jakarta Correspondent Jonathan Head says it appears that the latest Borneo conflict is an ethnic, not religious dispute.
The Dayaks, who used to live a semi-nomadic existence in the forest, now find themselves marginalised in a plantation and timber-based local economy in which outsiders often have the best jobs.
Immigrants from Madura have long been accused by the Dayaks of aggression and insensitivity to Dayak customs.
Two years ago thousands of Dayak men attacked Madurese villages, burnt them down and dismembered their inhabitants.
Now local people report that at least one severed head was displayed during the clashes of the past two days.
Our correspondent says that as in Ambon, the conflict in western Borneo pits local communities against recent immigrants - a legacy of a government policy of encouraging people from the overcrowded parts of the country to move to the outer islands