TWO years after an armed siege in the Philippines that killed 1000 people, a bishop in the region has said that the crisis has brought Muslims and Christians together.
The Roman Catholic Territorial Prelate of Marawi, the Most Revd Edwin Angot de la Peña, said that
the conflict has taught both Muslims and Christians the importance of dialogue, and that both faiths needed to work together to combat extremism.
Muslims and Christians suffered the same ordeal,” he said.
The city of Marawi is the capital of Lanao del Sur province in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of the Philippines, and is predominately Muslim.
Fighting broke out between militants aligned to the Islamic State and the government in May 2017 in Marawi (News, 2 June 2017), the capital city on the southern island of Mindanao. A five-month siege followed which left the city pockmarked with unexploded bombs and landmines. These are still being cleared by government troops.
The Philippine government said that it aims to complete the rebuilding work by December 2021. The President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Peter Maurer, said that people were still
traumatised by the conflict.
He said: “In my visit, I saw a community dealing with the physical and psychological impact of conflict. I met a family of a missing person that hasn’t lost hope that news about their relative will arrive soon.”