ROTTERDAM/CAPELLE AAN DEN IJSSEL - A police force consisting of around a thousand Marechaussees and police officers raided the South Moluccan residential camp IJsseloord in Capelle aan den IJssel this morning.. Several arrests have been made.

Weapons and suspects of the occupation of the Indonesian ambassador's residence were searched for, last month. The deployment included fifteen amphibious vehicles and two helicopters.

According to Het Vrije Volk, the action still reminds the "weapon display of a raid in wartime". All roads to the camp were closed this morning 9 hour off. Then buses with heavily armed military police entered the residential area.

During the morning, detectives with metal detectors went through the various homes verschillende, looking for weapons and ammunition. The camp knows 150 houses.

The camp was hermetically sealed off from the outside world all along. People who wanted to enter or leave the camp, came face to face with the barrel of a machine gun. A few residents who tried to get out of the camp with weapons were arrested. A sand truck, who had to go to camp, got an armed military police with him.

Even the telephones in the camp were guarded.

“The phone did ring”, but was put down immediately after recording. Even a resident who tried to call his family from the camp, got no further than mentioning his name.”

(Het Vrije Volk, 15-10-1970)


After the police left the residential camp around three o'clock, the residents were left defeated. Others are just combative.

“We are going to take action”, a young man told the Algemeen Dagblad. “We are thinking of Shell, It, Philips of Unilever. But we'll find out soon enough!”

Also Johannes Matulessy, son of the famous pastor, complained about the action.

“People have been in our house for three hours. They messed up everything. We weren't allowed to make tea. We weren't allowed to phone. We weren't even allowed to go to the toilet!”

(Johannes Matulessy, Algemeen Dagblad, 16-10-1970)

“It was like war”, to Frieda Tomasoa, chairwoman of the Free South Moluccan Youth against the Telegraaf. “Awful scenes took place. People didn't know what was going on. Everyone was searched and two women who didn't understand what was going on were kicked into their houses. We understand that it was necessary to carry out house searches in the camp, but no one understands that a complete army with armored vehicles is deployed for this.”

Another man, about thirty years old, pointed out that the police action is not improving relations. “If the Dutch government continues to treat us like this, there will be war”, he says to a reporter from the AD. “That way the police provokes riots.”


The reason for the police action is the occupation of the home of the Indonesian ambassador in Wassenaar, end of August. A cop was shot dead in that action.

During the occupation, an agent was shot dead. The shooter and many of the other participants come from the IJsseloord residential camp. A specific search was made for the weapon with which the officer was killed.

The action was 12 hour ended through the mediation of the Moluccan leader Manusama. The action resulted in the postponement of a state visit by Indonesian President Suharto.

According to the police, 40-year-old Paul Th. And 36-year-old Nelis U. arrested. The former is the national chairman of the order service of the unity party of the South Moluccans. The second is the secretary of the party.

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Own state

The Moluccans came to our country in the early 1950s. Many of them were received in residential camps such as IJsseloord. They were supposed to return to the Moluccas. For that reason they were not eligible for work. Often their homes were also of poor quality.

Inviting Indonesian President Suharto was a painful moment for many Moluccans. A number of young people then decided to take action. Four years ago, the South Moluccan leader Soumokil was executed by order of Suharto.

Hoe ging het verder?

In total there were 15 arrests. Justice therefore announces that at the end of August, on the day of the occupation of the Indonesian ambassador's residence, more than a hundred Ambonese young people were ready to take action too. Targets were the Indonesian embassy and consulate in Amsterdam. It was only canceled at the last minute.

Numerous weapons are found in the camp. Two guns, seven pistols, four hand grenades and a large amount of ammunition. The police also take an amount of blow- and confiscated weapons.

The relationship between the Moluccan young people and the Netherlands did not really improve in the 1970s. In 1975 it came to an occupation of the Indonesian consulate and a train hijacking at Wijster. Twee jaar later (1977) a school at Bovensmilde and a train at De Punt were hijacked. In 1978 a hostage situation took place in the provincial house in Assen.

With that, the violent actions had come to an end. The disadvantaged position of the Moluccans, however, is not. It didn't get any better in Capelle either. Begin 1984 there was an escalation in the Oostgaarde district, where many Moluccans lived. The Moluccans wanted better living conditions and refused to pay the increased rents. After the housing corporation threatened to evict people, the Mobile Unit had to come in to restore order.

read more: Riot police clashed with touches Capelse Moluccan


Het Parool – 15-10-1970 – Large-scale raid in Ambonese residential area

Het Vrije Volk – 15-10-1970 – Police force occupies Capelle camp

Algemeen Dagblad – 16-10-1970 – Ambonese conspiracy unraveled

The Telegraph – 16-10-1970 – Lightning attack on residential area South Moluccans

Isgeschiedenis – South Moluccan occupation embassy of Wassenaar

Author: Dave Datema

published: 14-10-2020

story number: 156

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