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Maluku Islands

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The Maluku Islands of Indonesia are also known as the Moluccas, Molucca Islands or Moluccan islands. The name is said to be derived from the Arabic phase "Al-Muluk" meaning "of kings". The islands were also historically known as the "Spice Islands" by the Chinese and Europeans. The Banda Islands are included in the group.

The South Moluccas (Maluku Selatan) existed as a separate colony of the Netherlands until 1949, when they were ceded to the newly independent Republic of Indonesia. With the declaration of a unitary republic in 1950 to replace the federal state, the South Moluccas attempted to secede. There has been intermitent ethnic and nationalist violence on the islands and in the Netherlands ever since.

Maluku formed a single province of Indonesia from 1950 until 1999. In 1999 the Maluku Utara Regency was split off as a separate province of North Maluku. Its provisional capital is Ternate[?], on a small island to the west of the large island of Halmahera[?], although it is not particularly stable.

The main city and capital of Maluku province was Ambon City[?] on the small Ambon Island[?]. However, recent violence may have harmed its economy.



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