Forty-four Philippine police’s special elite unit have died at the hands of terrorist group “Moro Islamic Liberation Front“, in the southern province of Maguindanao on Sunday, 25th of January.

In order to understand the situation is completely necessary to go throughout a little bit of history. The Republic of Philippines’ population of 96.5 million (UN, 2012) is mostly concentrated on just 11 islands of the 7.000 island that make up the archipelago located in southeast Asia in western Pacific Ocean. After being a Spanish colony for more than three centuries, Christianity became the major religion in the region, followed by Islam, concentrated on the southern islands. These religious contrasts joined with historic differences have induced guerrilla insurgencies which has prompted more than 120.000 deaths for the last 40 years of conflict.

Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), blamable of the 44 police deaths, aims to create a separate Islamic state in southern Philippines, having great support in areas with lack of economic development, which has encouraged dissent towards the Philippine Government.

On March 27th, 2014 the Government and the MILF signed a peace agreement that ended a long conflict that began in 1969. It is known as the main peace agreement around the world since the 2006 Nepal’s agreement. The peace deal promised the separatists to have more autonomy in return for a lifetime cessation of insurgency. It set up a peacekeeping procedure, which apparently seems to have failed.

As said before, the last 25th of January, Sunday, a violence act took place in Philippines, exactly in the southern province of Maguindanao.

The Philippine police entered in to the region controlled by the separatists –Mindanao- in order to arrest two members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters –BIFF- a MILF splinter group that opposes the ceasefire. The MILF understood that it was an operation against them. Because of that, the response of them directly attacked those policemen, resulted in the death of 44 policemen.

The major of Mindanao said that the police did not warn the MILF of the raid, as they should have done according to the peace deal. Because of it, MILF members were just fighting back through a gunfire that went for several hours.

Finally, on Friday the policemen were returned to Manila honoured in a ceremony that was carried out by the Philippine president, Benigno Aquino.


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