Back to RJ Archive

Law, Violence and Peace Making on the Island of Ambon

von Benda-Beckmann, Keebet
June 4, 2015

Source: (2004) In Foblets, Marie-Claire, and Trutz von Trotha, eds., Healing the Wounds: Essays on the Reconstruction of Societies after War. Portland, Oregon: Hart Publishing. Pp. 221-239.

The island of Ambon is in Molucca province in Indonesia. In January 1999 a fight occurred between a Christian taxi driver and a Muslim youth or youths. While similar fights were not uncommon, they usually cooled down soon. This one did not; rather the fight led to wider conflict. Thus began a long period of intense ethnic-religious fighting and rioting that became a virtual civil war, with much destruction of property and loss of life across Ambon and a set of neighboring islands. Many have attempted to establish peace and a measure of reconciliation. These include religious leaders (both Christian and Moslem), local leaders, influential intellectuals, and high politicians. None have succeeded as of yet. In this context, Keebet von Benda-Beckmann surveys the peace-making process. Admittedly this is speculative, as peace has not been established. Yet von Benda-Beckmann aims in this chapter to contribute to understanding the causes of the conflict and the strengths and challenges of the ongoing peace process in Ambon.


AbstractAsiaPost-Conflict ReconciliationRJ in Schools
Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now