The South Moluccas are 150 islands located in the Banda Sea. The main islands are Ceram, Ambon and Buru. The Republic of South Moluccas exceeds a million people, with an additional 50 thousand living in the Netherlands. The majority of the South Moluccans are Christians, unlike the rest of the Indonesian population, which is Muslim.
The Republic of South Moluccas declared its independence from Indonesia on April 25, 1950. In 1951, the Moluccas Islands were occupied by the Indonesian forces, and since 1966, this has made the government of the South Moluccas operate in exile, in the Netherlands. The repression by Indonesia against the inhabitants of South Moluccas continues and this has shot immigration, since the people leave, looking for better work opportunities.
Currently, the South Moluccas persist in their fight for international recognition and a possible independence. Because of Indonesia’s policies, South Moluccas’ residents are a minority in their own country. With the growth of the democratic movement in Indonesia, the resistance in the Republic of South Moluccas has the opportunity of entering into a new direction. The increase of exiled government contacts with organisations and governments is one of the main international strategies calling attention to what is occurring in South Moluccas and the continuous violation of human rights that the people there suffer.