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Jakarta Post

New civil war haunts Ambon

  • Adianto P. Simamora

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, September 13 2011   /  07:00 am

For President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, the memory of the three-year civil war in Maluku that killed thousands of victims and displaced hundreds of thousands of people is still a very vivid nightmare.

Sectarian violence last broke out in Ambon in 1999, and quickly spread to adjacent areas. Thousands of people in the surrounding area either perished or fled to neighboring islands.

His experience in handling the conflict as a minister clearly helped the President in directing government measures to prevent any potential spread of Sunday’s riot, which claimed at least five lives.

His order to Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Marshall (ret) Djoko Suyanto and to National Police Chief Gen. Timur Pradopo was very clear: Deploy a sufficient number of riot police troops and intensively reach out to leaders and people at the grassroots level....