Ethnic and religious plurality is inextricably linked with Ambonese history. The conflict of 1999–2003 disrupted this stability and caused great damage, segregation, and radicalization. Reestablishing peace proved difficult because of complex social, economic, political, and religious factors, and parties struggled to address deep-rooted issues such as intergroup distrust and hatred. The Baku Bae Peace Movement (gbb) was an informal movement with humble beginnings, which quickly developed into a community effort and reignited intergroup fraternity by deploying a series of effective strategies. This article examines the gbb, its key strengths and weaknesses, and the contextual factors that led to its success. The success of the gbb may be attributed to inclusive grassroots participation and the invocation of shared moral values. This article concludes that although the gbb is difficult to replicate elsewhere, its core values can be implemented in other conflict regions to minimize or resolve religious violence, polarization, and fundamentalism.
This article reviews the need to provide greater human rights protections through Indonesia’s Human Rights Court mechanism. Despite the Court gaining momentum with the emergence of greater democratic freedoms, there is still quite a long way to go before the Court can function in a transparent and accountable way. The opportunity to do this was missed when political interests were put ahead of human rights protections when the legislation creating the Court paid no attention to the investigating and procedural complexities of categories of the crimes falling within the jurisdiction of the Court. Moreover, the lack of protection for victims and witnesses has had an adverse impact on prosecutions. This article recommends that some legislative reform is desirable but legislative reform alone will not bring about the equally important cultural change required to achieve this objective. This transformation can only be achieved by ensuring that all the relevant actors operating within the system are held accountable and required to operate in a professional manner.