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Ambon bishop warns martial law will make Christians flee

Bishop Petrus Canisius Mandagi has expressed fears the Christians in the Moluccas will be forced to flee from their land if martial law is imposed.

He suggested ethnic cleansing would result if martial law is "applied by an immoral, unjust and corrupt government that places its own interests above the common wellbeing".

However, earlier this week Indonesia's Vice-President Hamzah Haz gave his word that martial law will not be imposed in the archipelago, where the violence resumed over the past days, just two months since the signing of a peace accord between Christians and Muslims.

The Vice-President made the statement during a meeting with the 45 House Representatives of the Moluccan province, in Jakarta to discuss issues relative to the three-year inter-religious conflict.

Tension in the Moluccas, fundamentalist Muslim leader arrested (Fides)


8 May 2002