Posts Tagged ‘Armed Forces of Philippines’

The small community of Mabini is located in a remote part of the Visayas region with little access to basic services. Regular clashes between the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the New People’s Army hamper development and force civilians to flee their homes and seek shelter elsewhere. Drinking water poses a problem. The only source is located two and a half kilometres away. ICRC engineers have begun to extract water from a nearby spring, to help both residents and the displaced. (more…)

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MANILA, 24 July 2009 (IRIN) – In a bid to improve conditions for peace talks and the resettlement of hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Mindanao, the Philippines government announced a unilateral ceasefire effective at midnight on 23 July.

The island has witnessed an upsurge in conflict between government forces and the 12,000-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), who have been fighting for an independent Islamic state on the island for decades, after a peace deal collapsed last August.

According to President Gloria Arroyo’s chief aide, Eduarto Ermita, the suspension of fighting would “advance stability and peace in the conflict-affected areas”.

“The AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] shall revert to the active defence mode as provided for in the guidelines on the primacy of the peace process,” Ermita said.

Rafael Seguis, chairman of the government’s peace negotiating panel with the MILF, said the decision would stop the humanitarian situation from further deteriorating.

“Because the hostilities have affected innocent civilians and the mounting number of IDPs, the president is very concerned,” Seguis said, adding that he had recently visited camps in Maguindanao Province – scene of the heaviest fighting in recent weeks – and was appalled by the “deplorable” condition of the IDPs. (more…)

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