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.
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