Maluku locals welcome dissolution of Jihad fighters
Church people from Indonesia's Poso and Maluku islands have expressed hope for a lasting peace following the dissolution of a Muslim militant group accused of inciting violence against Christians.
Two weeks ago, Yogyakarta-based Muslim Struggle Voice Radio announced that Jaffar Umar Thalib, chief of Laskar Jihad, had disbanded the group. The next day, local media reported that some 800 fighters returned to Java Island from their headquarters in Maluku's provincial capital of Ambon.
Sr Brigitta Renyaan of Ambon said that jihad fighters have been "a frightening spectre" for Ambon's people, adding that the conflict in the area should be settled in "a peaceful way".
PHILIPPINE MUSLIM, CHRISTIAN LEADERS URGE CAUTION AFTER BOMBINGS
Muslim and Christian leaders in the southern Philippines have advised caution and discernment in the wake of bombings in Zamboanga City that killed at least 12 people.
Catholic clergy in the south also told UCA News they are concerned that the arrest of five men for the series of bombings, which included the Virgin of the Pillar Shrine, may not be a "real solution."
Claretian Fr Angel Calvo said that 25 Muslim and Christian lay and religious leaders held a meeting in the city last Tuesday, the day of the arrests and were preparing a manifesto that would urge the government to conduct a deeper analysis and probe of the attacks.
Who are the Laskar Jihad? (BBC)
Moluccas priest says Christians want Muslim group expelled (14/2/02)
29 Oct 2002