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There have been serious outbreaks of inter-ethnic violence on the island of Kalimantan since 1997, involving the indigenous Dayak peoples and immigrants from the island of Madura, off north-eastern Java.
Hundreds of people have been killed and tens of thousands of Madurese forced to flee from the land given to them in the 1950s and ‘60s when they volunteered to move to Kalimantan under a government-sponsored programme.
The dominant Dayaks feel resentment at the way Madurese have, as they see it, been favoured.
The increased violence in recent years resulted from more difficult economic circumstances faced by both communities.
In 2001 in the Central Kalimantan timber town of Sampit, at least 500 Madurese were killed and up to 100,000 Madurese were forced to flee.
Some Madurese bodies were decapitated in a ritual reminiscent of the head-hunting tradition of the Dayaks of old.
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