Maluku Provincial Government Publicizes the Malino Peace Accord

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  • TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:The provincial government of Maluku is setting out on a comprehensive program to socialize the agreement resulting from the Malino Peace Talks to people throughout the province. On Monday (18/2), the Maluku provincial government met with by local and provincial government officials, district heads and village chiefs. At least 100 officials attended the meeting held at the office of Maluku Governor Saleh Latuconsina, and attended by Maluku Police Chief Brigadier General Soenarko. The meeting expounded the implementation of the agreement, particularly steps to address socio-economic issues. Similar meetings and dialogues will be held in other key areas of the province. Explanations of the agreement will also be disseminated by the print and electronic media. The 11-point Malino Accord includes an assessment on refugees and a survey on the conditions of facilities and infrastructure destroyed by the conflict. The handling of refugees will involve three stages: repatriation to their homes, empowering them and resettling them to other areas. The government plans to provide the refugees with assistance. The program will be monitored and evaluated by a team involving all elements of society. Police Chief Soenarko explained to the participants at the meeting that the government and the people should work together in implementing the Malino accord. Soenarko further said in order to effectively carry out the Malino Accord, law enforcement is needed. He also stressed that in addition to publicizing the accord, a program to prevent future conflicts will also be carried out, including unifying operations by different groups. One simultaneous action will be to clean up all provocative banners, starting March 1. On that same day, the government will also start monitoring media, which publishes provocative news and views. “We have to start it as soon as possible,” Soenarko said. The Police Chief added that the government plans to conduct a weapons search operation starting early May. “However, if necessary, we can always start to search weapons tomorrow,” he said. Meanwhile, the Governor admitted there were groups who have not accepted the Malino Accord. “Yet when we offered three options, they agreed to discuss it. This means they are aiming at something, either economic, social or political interests,” he said. The government would take strict action against such groups. Governor Latuconsina said each faction is taking a different approach to implementing the accord. “We can not generalize the two sides. For example, the Malino Accord could be explained by churches to the Christian poplace. However, the result may not be the if the Accord were to be socialized to the Muslims through mosques. Condition differ in different areas, so we must apply different approaches” he said. Meanwhile, the participants of the meeting want the Malino accord to be realized soon. One of the participants, Chief of Sirisori Amalatu sub-district, a Christian village in Central Maluku Regency, hoped that people who fled to the forests can return to their homes soon. Chief of Iha sub-district (a Moslem village in Saparua district, Central Maluku Regency) voiced similar hopes. Chief of Central Maluku Regency, Rudolf Ruka, added that the Malino Accord must be fully supported and must be implemented as soon as possible. “However, considering the size of the region, we need time to socialize this,” Ruka said. (Yusnita Tempo News Room)