Indonesia (Maluku)


Conflict Summary

Violence erupted on to the streets of the Maluku islands in 1999 when riots broke out between the Muslim and Christian populations. This was initially not organised violence but tit-for-tat attacks by sectarian mobs on opposing communities with bladed or basic weapons. However, the conflict became more structured, and the weapons more sophisticated, with the creation of the Christian Maluku Sovereignty Front (FKM) and the arrival of Laskar Jihad in 2000. The military was criticised when it intervened for its apparent bias towards the Islamic community, and it did little to stem the violence. The majority of the several thousand fatalities were civilian. A peace agreement was concluded in 2002, but sporadic acts of violence continue.