19 January 2018
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  • » 09/27/2017, 15.32

    PHILIPPINES

    MILF to protect Christians involved in Marawi’s reconstruction

    Santosh Digal

    The leader of the group, Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, promised to help to the prelature’s programme. He met Mgr Edwin de la Peña, bishop of Marawi, in Rome. The ‘Duyog Marawi’ plan will involve 13 coastal communities near the city. “Let us show to the world that violent extremist ideas will not flourish in our lands,” the bishop said.

    Manila (AsiaNews) – The Philippines’ largest Muslim rebel group is to provide security for a Catholic Church’s outreach programme for people displaced by the crisis in Marawi, Mindanao, southern Philippines.

    Archbishop Edwin de la Peña (pictured), bishop of Marawi, the Philippines’ most Islamic city, said that the leader of the group, Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, promised to help the programme aimed at reconstruction, healing and promoting peace in the city ​​devastated by conflict.

    The Marawi rehabilitation programme (Duyog Marawi) undertaken by the prelature will involve 13 coastal communities near Marawi, the capital of the Province of Lanao del Sur. They are Sultan Naga Dimaporo, Malabang, Balabagan, Picong, Marantao, Balindong, Bacolod-Calawi, Madamba, Ganassi, Calanogas, Marogong, Kapatagan and Tugaya.

    These areas were heavily affected by the conflict because residents lost their livelihood and basic services following Marawi’s isolation. The villages also host thousands of people displaced by the fighting.

    The programme will also help communities of the State University of Mindanao and the provisional cathedral of Balo-I, consecrated after the devastation of St Mary's Cathedral.

    “We will do what we do best – community engagements and opportunities for healing and reconciliation,” the bishop said.

    Mgr Dela Peña urged Christian communities to support the people of Marawi and its surrounding areas by helping the Church, the government and other aid agencies.

    “It is a critical moment in the history of Muslim and Christian relations in Marawi,” the bishop said. “This will either bring us closer or will widen the gap.”

    “The peace in Marawi will not only benefit the Maranaos, it will benefit all of us – the whole of humanity,” the bishop added. “Let us show to the world that violent extremist ideas will not flourish in our lands”. The Maranaos are a local Muslim ethnic group.

    The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is an Islamist armed group based in the island of Mindanao, in the south of the country, where most Filipino Muslims live (about 20 per cent of the overall population).

    The Front has sought to establish a separate region for the Moro people, autonomous from the central government. In the past, it has carried out many military and terrorist actions.

    The group is currently engaged in peace talks with the Duterte administration and backs government troops in the conflict in Marawi.

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    See also

    08/08/2005 PHILIPPINES
    Thousands of troops to supervise elections in Mindanao
    There are fears of violence, electoral fraud and Islamic terrorism. Ten suicide bombers from Indonesia might be in the country. Catholic sources warn that no one will be able to vote freely because electoral corruption is too ingrained—many will abstain.

    24/01/2006 PHILIPPINES
    Jailed Jolo Muslim rebel leader to be set free
    Moro National Liberation Front leader Nur Misuari will be freed on health grounds. Rebel leader throws his support behind Filipino President Arroyo and is in favour of US troop presence in Jolo.

    02/06/2005 PHILIPPINES
    Peace between Moro rebels and government near


    08/02/2011 PHILIPPINES
    Muslim rebels set fire to Christian village in Mindanao
    No one dies, but dozens have to abandon their homes. Suspicions fall on a new armed group, born from a split in the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). Tomorrow, a new round of peace talks start between MILF and the Filipino government.

    24/09/2009 PHILIPPINES
    Mindanao: MILF leader says peace can stop violence among young people
    The founder of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front says he wants peace “to save young Muslims from utter poverty” but still does not trust the pledges of the Filipino government.



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