A Long and Winding Road to Peace in Bangsamoro
A Long and Winding Road to Peace in Bangsamoro
David Castuciano/Rappler
Op-Ed / Asia 1 minutes

A Long and Winding Road to Peace in Bangsamoro

The guns fell silent on the Monday after Eid in Maguindanao del Sur province. But for hundreds of displaced families, the ceasefire between the two warring camps in Datu Saudi Ampatuan town came late. Forced to evacuate following clashes between armed men linked to rivaling MILF commanders that broke out right after the Muslim holiday of Eid-ul-Fitri, local families concluded the fasting month of Ramadan on a somber note. The reasons for the fighting were as mundane as they were complex: a cycle of vengeance pitting families against one another in clan feuds or rido, competition over resources, and the ever-present specter of local politics. The result was disquieting: at least eight fighters were killed, and several houses, burnt.

This was unfortunately not an isolated case. During the past year, similar clashes have regularly affected Bangsamoro communities, particularly in Central Mindanao, casting a shadow over the peace process in Mindanao. Almost 10 years after the 2014 Comprehensive Agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) put an end to decades of bloody conflict in Mindanao, these violent incidents could still threaten the Bangsamoro peace process. The agreement, which covers a variety of issues ranging from the newly created entity’s fiscal autonomy to transitional justice and women’s rights, has been lauded as one of the most comprehensive peace pacts in the world. Ten years on, the process is largely on-track, but there are still significant hurdles on the path to durable peace. 

The full article can be read on the The Rappler's website

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