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Jakarta Post

Ampera village: An oasis in a former battlefield

Jakarta   /   Sat, January 3 2009   /  10:33 am

Residents of Ampera subdistrict, Masohi district in Central Maluku regency, say they refuse to be caught up in another conflict, after previous riots rendered them homeless victims. When sectarian riots rocked Masohi, growing out of the conflict in Ambon in December 1999, Muslim and Christian communities in Ampera were forced from their homes as their area became one of the battle zones. Entire homes in the area were torched during the riots. Those who fled lived as refugees in temporary camps for more than three uncertain years. The government has rebuilt their homes where they once stood, albeit modestly. The homes are built uniformly, with walls made of second-rate timber, despite the different social standings of the occupants -- civil servants, bank employees, entrepreneurs, contractors, teachers, ojek (motorcycle taxi) drivers and becak (pedicab) drivers. Onl...