Conflict trap: Why ending rebellion may not end conflict in Bangsamoro region

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 29 2022 03:34 PM

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MANILA – Philippine conflict monitor International Alert on Friday said peace remains elusive in the Bangsamoro because ending rebel-related violence does not affect the nature of other types of violence in the area.

International Alert Philippines senior adviser Dr. Francisco Lara said the Philippine government should be lauded for its work towards the passage of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro and the Bangsamoro Organic Law.

He noted, however, that it seems to have forgotten a couple of key issues in the region.

“The Bangsamoro Region is caught in a conflict trap. That means ending or the retiring of rebellion-related violence has not affected the nature of horizontal or other types of violence in the Bangsamoro,” Lara said 

“You still have an explosion of clan violence, political violence in relation to the recent elections, and you saw that spilled over in Metro Manila just a week ago, and the continuance of violent extremism in many areas in Lanao del Sur and in the island provinces,” he added.

Lara said "vertical violence" or rebellion is related to other types of violence and should be addressed in any type of negotiation. "So for example, you come up with an agreement…but you don’t address the issue of weapons,” he said.

“So that’s another thing. The decommissioning addresses a small fraction of the problem of loose weapons in the Bangsamoro and entire Mindanao. Number two, it did not address the issue of land quickly. So that was neglected in the implementation process over the 3 years.”

“Number three, you set up a regional authority but no election has been undertaken yet to strengthen the legitimacy of regional authority. All of these things should have been part of the negotiation, and they were left out,” he said.

--ANC, 29 July 2022