Post-Conflict Social Recovery towards Sustainable Development and Lasting Peace: A Case Study of a Local Peace Initiative in North Maluku, Indonesia


The paper presents the history and analysis of conflict in North Maluku, Indonesia and how it impacts the population, particularly the vulnerable sector-women and children. Political cleavages; ethnic division; economic devastation; and damage to the moral fabric, infrastructure and psycho-social stability as manifested in the form of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are some of the vestiges of conflict in the war-torn population of North Maluku, Indonesia. The author describes the importance of community resilience and local people’s indigenous ways of coping to face their adverse environment and to recover from the scar of war. A mosaic of traditional rituals such as pela dan gandong and bakudapa process is presented in the paper to highlight local peace initiatives that are embarked upon by the warring communities with the facilitation of a third party. These processes are not only forging community cooperation but also offer cathartic experiences among participants from polarized communities, and will eventually lead to healing. Alongside traditional healing is social recovery in order to put the socio-political and economic sphere in order. All stakeholders, multi-track initiatives, and equal participation of the divided communities in shaping and planning their own social recovery program are emphasized in the paper. Social recovery has to be integrated with both participatory and holistic methods to guarantee sustained development and durable peace. An atmosphere of relative security; social cohesion; stable economic base and performance, presence of local governance and people’s readiness are the preconditions crucial in the design and implementation of post conflict social recovery. Recovery has to be sustained in order to ensure lasting peace.


Peace and Conflict Studies

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