55. Philippines/Moro Islamic Liberation Front (1977-present)

 

Crisis Phase (December 26, 1977-October 20, 1996): The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was established by Hashim Salamat in opposition to the Philippines government on Sulu, Palawan, and Mindanao islands on December 26, 1977.  The MILF separated from the Moro National Liberation Front-MNLF.  The MILF rejected the peace agreement signed by the Philippines government and the MNLF in Manila on September 2, 1996, which established the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Conflict Phase (October 21, 1996-July 21, 1997): Government troops launched a military offensive against Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels on October 21-24, 1996, resulting in the deaths of 33 MILF rebels. The government announced an unilateral 60-day ceasefire on November 28, 1996 (the ceasefire was in effect from December 1, 1996 to January 29, 1997). Representatives of the government and MILF began peace negotiations on January 7, 1997.  The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) provided emergency humanitarian assistance for individuals displaced by the conflict beginning on June 28, 1997. President Fidel Ramos declared a state-of-emergency in eight towns in the ARMM on July 1, 1997. Government and MILF representatives signed a ceasefire agreement in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines on July 18, 1997, and the cessation of military hostilities went into effect on July 21, 1997.

Post-Conflict Phase (July 22, 1997-February 15, 2000): Government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) representatives resumed negotiations on July 30, 1997.  Representatives of the government and the MILF signed the General Framework of Agreement of Intent on August 27, 1998.  Representatives of the government and MILF began peace negotiations in Maguindanao province on October 25, 1999.  Government troops and MILF rebels clashed on the island of Mindanao beginning on November 7, 1999. Government troops and MILF rebels clashed near Kalanugas on November 18, 1999, resulting in the deaths of 30 rebels and two government soldiers. Some 300,000 individuals were internally-displaced in 1999.

Conflict Phase (February 16, 2000-August 7, 2001):  Government troops launched a military offensive against a Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebel base (Camp Omar) in Maguindanao Province on the island of Mindanao on February 16, 2000, resulting in the deaths of 23 rebels and two government soldiers.  Government troops clashed with MILF rebels in Lanao del Norte Province on March 15-17, 2000, resulting in the deaths of 41 rebels and five government soldiers.  President Joseph Estrada declared an “all-out war” against the MILF on March 21, 2000.  Government troops attacked the MILF’s Camp Abu Bakr on the island of Mindanao on April 28, 2000.  Government troops and MILF rebels clashed on the island of Mindanao on May 3, 2000, resulting in the deaths of 35 individuals.  Some 100,000 individuals were displaced on the island of Mindanao in late April and early May 2000.  The MILF announced a 48-hour temporary ceasefire on May 6, 2000.  Government troops and MILF rebels clashed on the island of Mindanao on May 26-29, 2000, resulting in the deaths of some 43 rebels and two government soldiers.  Government troops captured the MILF’s Camp Bushra on the island of Mindanao on May 29, 2000.  MILF rebels agreed to resume negotiations with government representatives on May 29, 2000.  The MILF withdrew from peace negotiations with the government on June 15, 2000.  Government troops captured the MILF headquarters (Camp Abu Bakr) on the island of Mindanao on July 9, 2000, resulting in the deaths of 30 rebels and eight government soldiers. Some 300 rebels and 200 government soldiers were killed, and some 500,000 individuals were displaced during the government’s military offensive against the MILF between March and July 9, 2000.  MILF rebels killed 21 civilians on the island of Mindanao on July 16, 2001.  More than 650 MILF rebels surrendered to the government on the island of Mindanao on October 5, 2000, and more than 850 MILF rebels led by Sayben Ampaso surrendered to the government on December 29, 2000.  More than 930 MILF rebels led by Macabagol Paudak surrendered to the government on March 14, 2001.  On March 24, 2001, the government and MILF agreed to resume peace negotiations mediated by Libya, Malaysia, and Indonesia.  The MILF declared a suspension of military hostilities on April 3, 2001.  Moammar Gadhafi of Libya facilitated negotiations between the parties in Tripoli, Libya on June 19-22, 2001.  Government and MILF representatives signed the Tripoli Peace Agreement in Tripoli, Libya on June 22, 2001.  Government and MILF representatives signed a formal ceasefire agreement in Putrajaya, Malaysia on August 7, 2001.  Some 70,000 individuals were killed, and nearly one million individuals were displaced during the conflict.

Post-Conflict Phase (August 8, 2001-February 10, 2003):  On May 6, 2002, representatives of the government and MILF signed an agreement during the fourth round of peace negotiations.

Conflict Phase (February 11, 2003-July 18, 2003):  Government troops launched a military offensive against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Maguindanao province on February 11-16, 2003, resulting in the deaths of some 150 rebels and eight government soldiers.  Fourteen individuals were killed by MILF rebels in the village of Tubud on February 19, 2003.  Twenty-two individuals were killed in a bombing attack by MILF rebels at Davao airport on March 4, 2003.  Ten individuals were killed in political violence in Cotabato, Mindanao island on March 26, 2003.  Government troops and MILF rebels clashed in Maguindanao province on April 13, 2003, resulting in the deaths of 12 rebels.  Government troops clashed with MILF rebels in Siocon on Mindanao island on May 4, 2003, resulting in the deaths of six rebels, two government soldiers, six government policemen, and eight civilians.  The MILF announced a unilateral ceasefire on June 2, 2003.  MILF Chairman Hashim Salamat died of natural causes on July 13, 2003, and he was succeeded by Al Haj Murad Ebrahim.  Representatives of the government and MILF signed a ceasefire agreement in Manila on July 18, 2003.  Some 500 individuals were killed, and some 400,000 individuals were displaced during the conflict.

Post-Conflict Phase (July 19, 2003-August 9, 2008):  The International Monitoring Team (IMT-Mindanao) was established to monitor the ceasefire agreement on the island of Mindanao beginning on October 10, 2004.  The Malaysia-led IMT-Mindanao initially consisted of 57 personnel from Malaysia (41), Brunei (10), Libya (5), and Japan (1) in 2004-2005.  Government troops and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels clashed near Mamasapano on January 10, 2005.  MILF rebels attacked government troops in South Cotabato Province on June 12, 2006.  Government troops and MILF rebels clashed on the island of Mindanao from June 28 to July 6, 2006, resulting in the displacement of several thousand individuals.  Representatives of the government and MILF signed a ceasefire agreement on July 10-11, 2006.  The Malaysia-led IMT-Mindanao consisted of 59 personnel from Malaysia (41), Brunei (10), Libya (7), and Japan (1) in 2007-2008.  The government announced a preliminary autonomy agreement with the MILF on July 28, 2008, but the Philippines Supreme Court blocked the formal signing of the agreement in a ruling issued on August 4, 2008.

Conflict Phase (August 10, 2008-July 29, 2009):  Government troops and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels clashed in North Cotabato Province on August 10-12, 2008, resulting in the deaths of one government soldier, 15 rebels, and two civilians.  Some 160,000 individuals were displaced as a result of the clashes.  MILF rebels attacked the towns of Kauswagan, Maigo, and Kolambugan in Lanao del Norte Province in southern Philippines on August 18, 2008, resulting in the deaths of some 30 individuals.  Government troops killed 16 MILF rebels in Maguindanao Province on the island of Mindanao on September 23-24, 2008.  The IMT-Mindanao was withdrawn from the island of Mindanao on November 30, 2008.  Government troops and MILF rebels clashed on the island of Mindanao on March 28, 2009, resulting in the deaths of 20 rebels and seven government soldiers.  Government troops attacked a MILF rebel base on the island of Mindanao on June 5-6, 2009, resulting in the deaths of 30 rebels.  The government suspended military operations on July 23, 2009, and the MILF suspended military operations on July 15, 2009.  On July 27, 2009, representatives of the government and MILF signed a Malaysia-mediated ceasefire agreement in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  Some 1,000 individuals were killed, and some 750,000 individuals were displaced during the conflict on the island of Mindanao from August 2008 to July 2009.

Post-Conflict Phase (July 30, 2009-present):  Representatives of the government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) resumed Malaysia-mediated negotiations in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on December 8, 2009.  The Malaysia-led IMT-Mindanao was re-deployed on the island of Mindanao on February 28, 2010.   The Malaysia-led IMT-Mindanao consisted of 60 personnel from Malaysia (40), Brunei (10), Libya (8), and Japan (2) in 2010-2011.  Representatives of the government and MILF resume peace negotiations (“exploratory talks”) on February 9, 2011.  Government troops clashed with MILF rebels in the town on Al-Barka on the island of Basilan on October 18, 2011, resulting in the deaths of 19 government soldiers and five rebels.  MILF rebels ambushed government troops and policemen on October 20, 2011, resulting in the deaths of four government soldiers and four policemen.  Government troops clashed with MILF rebels in Zamboanga Sibugay on October 24-27, 2011, resulting in the deaths of two government soldiers and 15 rebels.  The Malaysian government mediated negotiations between representatives of the government and MILF in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on October 2-6, 2012.  MILF rebels killed three government soldiers on the island of Basilan on October 13, 2012.  Representatives of the government and MILF signed the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro in Manila on October 15, 2012.  The framework agreement provided for the establishment of the autonomous Bangsamoro, replacing the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).  The Malaysia-led IMT-Mindanao consisted of 55 personnel from Malaysia (19), Indonesia (15), Brunei (15), Norway (2), Japan (2), and the EU (2) in 2012-2013.  Members of a MILF splinter group established by Ustadz Ameril Umbra Kato in 2008, known as the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), attacked government troops in Maguindanao and North Cotabato provinces on July 6-7, 2013, resulting in the deaths of five government soldiers and 18 rebels.  Representatives of the government and MILF signed a tentative “wealth-sharing agreement” on July 12, 2013.  Representatives of the government and MILF signed a tentative “power-sharing agreement” on December 8, 2013.  Government troops launched a military offensive (“Operation Darkhorse”) against BIFF rebels in Maguindanao and North Cotabato provinces on January 27-February 2, 2014, resulting in the deaths of one government soldier and 52 rebels.  Some 35,000 individuals were displaced during the military offensive.  Representatives of the government and MILF signed a peace agreement in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on January 25, 2014.  Representatives of the government and the MILF signed the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (including the power-sharing and wealth-sharing agreements) in Manila on March 27, 2014.  Government troops clashed with BIFF rebels in Maguindanao province on July 21, 2014, resulting in the deaths of one government soldier and 17 rebels.  Government troops clashed with BIFF rebels in North Cotabato province on September 11, 2014, resulting in the deaths of two government soldiers and at least ten rebels.  BIFF rebels attacked government troops in the village of Sapakan in Maguindanao province on November 16, 2014, resulting in the deaths of four rebels.  Ten individuals were killed in a bus bombing in Maramag in Bukidnon province on December 9, 2014.  The bombing was blamed on BIFF rebels.  Government troops killed two suspected BIFF rebels in Maguindanao province on December 10, 2014.  The Malaysia-led IMT-Mindanao consisted of 36 personnel from Malaysia (14), Indonesia (9), Brunei (9), Norway (2), and Japan (2) in 2014-2015.  Government troops clashed with MILF rebels in Mamasapano, Maguindanao on January 25, 2015, resulting in the deaths of 44 government soldiers, 18 MILF rebels, and five civilians.

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