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Bishop says Indonesian refugee programs plagued by corruption

The refugee problem in Indonesia's Molucca Islands will continue unless corruption plaguing refugee aid programs is controlled, said the Catholic bishop whose diocese serves the area.

Bishop Petrus Mandagi of Ambon said the problem remains because money destined for resettlement of refugees has been diverted before it reached them.

The bishop, who also heads the Indonesian bishops' justice and peace commission, said no matter how large the fund for the refugee problem is "without honesty it is impossible to address the problem."

Expressing his hope for clean handling of the situation, the bishop called for the government to take action to prevent "the emasculation of refugees' rights, or it will end in renewed conflict."

Christian-Muslim clashes in the Moluccas from 1999 to 2002 killed about 6,000 people and displaced several hundred thousand; tens of thousands still live as refugees inside and outside the Moluccas province.

Bishop says Indonesian refugee programs plagued by corruption (Catholic News Service 31/8/04)

Ambon Bishop warns refugee problem will persist unless corruption is rooted out ( 2/9/04)

3 Sep 2004