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The Impact of Video Kerusuhan Ambon Stand 1999 on the Social and Political Landscape of Indonesia


Video Kerusuhan Ambon Stand 1999: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Causes and Consequences of the Conflict




Video Kerusuhan Ambon Stand 1999 is a term that refers to the violent clashes between Muslims and Christians in Ambon, the capital of Maluku province in Indonesia, that erupted in January 1999 and lasted for several years. The conflict claimed thousands of lives, displaced hundreds of thousands of people, and destroyed many homes, churches, and mosques. It also involved the participation of child soldiers, who were recruited and trained by both sides to fight and kill their enemies.




video kerusuhan ambon stand 1999



What triggered the conflict and how did it escalate? What were the roles of local actors, such as religious leaders, militias, and politicians, as well as external actors, such as the central government, the military, and foreign fighters? What were the impacts of the conflict on the social and economic conditions of the people in Ambon and Maluku? How did the conflict end and what were the challenges of reconciliation and peacebuilding? These are some of the questions that this article will attempt to answer, based on various sources and perspectives.


The Origins and Escalation of the Conflict




The origins of the conflict can be traced back to several factors, such as historical grievances, demographic changes, economic disparities, political instability, and religious mobilization. However, the immediate trigger was a minor incident that occurred on January 19, 1999, when a bus driver accidentally hit a young Muslim man in Batu Merah, a mixed neighborhood in Ambon. The incident sparked a brawl between Muslim and Christian youths, which soon escalated into a riot that spread to other parts of the city. The rioters attacked each other with stones, knives, machetes, and homemade bombs, setting fire to houses, shops, vehicles, churches, and mosques. The police and the military failed to contain the violence, which lasted for several days and resulted in hundreds of deaths and injuries.


The initial riot was followed by a series of revenge attacks and counterattacks between Muslims and Christians in Ambon and other parts of Maluku. The conflict became more organized and militarized, as both sides formed militias and armed groups to defend their communities and attack their opponents. Some of the most notorious militias were Laskar Jihad (Jihad Force) on the Muslim side and Laskar Kristus (Christ Force) on the Christian side. These militias were composed of local residents as well as outsiders who came from other regions in Indonesia or abroad to join the fight. They received training, weapons, funding, and ideological indoctrination from various sources. They also recruited children as young as nine years old to become fighters or spies.


The conflict also became more politicized and sectarian, as both sides claimed to represent their religious identity and interests against the perceived threat of the other. They accused each other of trying to dominate or eliminate their presence in Maluku. They also blamed each other for instigating or provoking the violence. They appealed to their co-religionists across Indonesia and beyond for support and solidarity. They also sought to influence or manipulate the local authorities, such as the governor, the mayor, the police chief, and the military commander, who often had divided loyalties or interests.


The Roles of External Actors




The conflict in Ambon and Maluku was not only a local affair but also involved external actors who had various motives and interests. One of them was the central government in Jakarta, which was undergoing a political transition after the fall of President Suharto in May 1998. The government was led by President B.J. Habibie until October 1999, when he was replaced by President Abdurrahman Wahid. The government faced many challenges in managing the conflict in Maluku,


The Impacts of the Conflict




The conflict in Ambon and Maluku had devastating impacts on the lives and livelihoods of the people in the region. According to various estimates, the conflict claimed between 5,000 and 10,000 lives, injured tens of thousands more, and displaced more than half a million people from their homes. Many of them sought refuge in camps, churches, mosques, or other islands. The conflict also destroyed or damaged more than 10,000 buildings, including houses, shops, schools, hospitals, churches, and mosques. The economic losses were estimated at more than US$1 billion. The conflict also disrupted the social fabric and trust among the communities, creating deep divisions and traumas that persisted for years.


The conflict also had wider implications for the stability and security of Indonesia as a nation-state. The conflict in Maluku was one of several regional conflicts that erupted or intensified after the fall of Suharto, such as in Aceh, Papua, Kalimantan, and Sulawesi. These conflicts posed serious challenges to the legitimacy and authority of the central government, which was struggling to cope with political and economic crises. The conflicts also raised questions about the viability and desirability of maintaining Indonesia's unity and diversity amid rising demands for autonomy or independence from various regions. The conflicts also attracted the attention and intervention of external actors, such as foreign governments, NGOs, media, and religious groups, who had different agendas and interests in influencing the outcomes of the conflicts.


The End of the Conflict and the Challenges of Peacebuilding




The conflict in Ambon and Maluku gradually subsided after several initiatives and interventions by various actors at different levels. One of them was the Malino II Peace Accord, which was signed on February 12, 2002 by representatives of Muslim and Christian communities in Maluku under the mediation of Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare Jusuf Kalla. The accord contained 11 points that covered issues such as cessation of hostilities, disarmament of militias, return of refugees, reconstruction of infrastructure, promotion of dialogue and reconciliation, respect for human rights and law enforcement, protection of religious freedom and diversity, and prevention of external interference. The accord was welcomed by most parties as a breakthrough in ending the violence and restoring peace in Maluku.


However, the accord also faced some challenges and criticisms from various quarters. Some argued that the accord was imposed by the central government without sufficient consultation and participation from the local stakeholders. Some questioned the legitimacy and representativeness of the signatories, who were mostly traditional or religious leaders rather than political or civil society leaders. Some doubted the sincerity and commitment of some parties to implement the accord faithfully. Some feared that the accord would not address the root causes and structural issues of the conflict, such as justice, accountability, reparations, land rights, power sharing, and development. Some also warned that the accord could be undermined by spoilers or hardliners who might resist or sabotage the peace process.


Despite these challenges and criticisms, the Malino II Peace Accord proved to be effective in reducing violence and creating a conducive environment for peacebuilding in Maluku. The accord was followed by various measures to implement its provisions,


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However, the end of violence did not mean the end of peacebuilding. The peace process in Maluku faced many challenges and opportunities in addressing the remaining issues and needs of the people in the post-conflict situation. Some of these issues and needs included justice and accountability for the perpetrators and victims of human rights violations, reparations and compensation for the losses and damages caused by the conflict, reconciliation and healing for the traumas and grievances suffered by the communities, land rights and tenure security for the displaced and returnees, power sharing and representation for the diverse groups and interests in Maluku, development and livelihoods for the poor and marginalized sectors of society, education and awareness for the promotion of tolerance and diversity among the younger generations, and prevention and early warning for the avoidance of future conflicts or violence.


To address these issues and needs, various initiatives and interventions have been undertaken by various actors at different levels. Some examples are:


  • The establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (KKR) for Maluku in 2009 by a presidential decree to investigate and document the human rights violations that occurred during the conflict and to provide recommendations for justice and reconciliation. However, the KKR faced many difficulties in fulfilling its mandate due to legal obstacles, political resistance, financial constraints, and operational challenges.



  • The implementation of a Basudara (brotherhood) program by a local NGO called Baileo Maluku Foundation since 2006 to facilitate dialogue and reconciliation among former combatants and victims from both sides of the conflict. The program used various methods such as storytelling, trauma healing, joint activities, exchange visits, cultural performances, interfaith prayers, and peace education to foster mutual understanding, trust, forgiveness, and cooperation among the participants.



  • The revitalization of adat (customary law) practices by some communities in Ambon and Seram as a way to restore social order and harmony after the conflict. Adat practices such as sasi (a system of resource management), pukul sapu (a ceremony of cleansing), or gong perdamaian (a symbol of peace) were used to regulate land use, resolve disputes, promote cooperation, express apology or forgiveness, or celebrate diversity among different groups.



Conclusion




The conflict in Ambon and Maluku was one of the most tragic and complex episodes in Indonesia's history. It involved multiple actors, factors, and dynamics that shaped its causes, consequences, and solutions. It also posed significant challenges and opportunities for peacebuilding in the region and beyond. This article has attempted to provide a comprehensive analysis of the conflict and its aftermath, based on various sources and perspectives. It has highlighted the role of video kerusuhan ambon stand 1999 as a term that captures the essence and impact of the conflict. It has also discussed the various initiatives and interventions that have been undertaken to end the violence and to address the remaining issues and needs of the people in Maluku.


However, this article is not intended to be a definitive or comprehensive account of the conflict and its peace process. It is rather a starting point for further inquiry and dialogue among scholars, practitioners, policymakers, and stakeholders who are interested in or involved in peacebuilding in Maluku and elsewhere. It is hoped that this article will contribute to a better understanding of the conflict and its resolution, as well as to a more sustainable and inclusive peace in Maluku and Indonesia. b99f773239


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