AI report: the human cost of conflict in Mindanao (Philippines)
Amnistía Internacional publicou antonte un informe sobre as violacións dos Direitos Humanos no conflicto armado que enfronta ó Goberno co Frente Moro de Liberación Islámica na illa de Mindanao (Filipinas). O informe leva por título “Shattered Peace in Mindanao: The human cost of conflict in the Philippines”. Copio un extracto da súa introducción:
[…] the renewal of violence between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has been, and continues to be, accompanied by human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law by both sides. While the armed conflict in the Philippines’ south is not new, the number of civilians directly affected by this most recent escalation of hostilities has increased dramatically, with no clear end in sight.
If impunity for perpetrators of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law from both parties to the conflict continues, with a lack of avenues for redress for the victims and the threat of more MILF attacks in the wake of the failure of the peace talks, Mindanao may find itself approaching a human rights crisis.
Two months after the attacks by the MILF on civilians in predominantly Christian and sometimes mixed Christian and Muslim neighbourhoods in August 2008, the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) reported that over 610,000 people have fled their villages to escape the violence. They fled from MILF attacks on their homes; fighting between the MILF and Philippine security forces; and after their relatives had been killed or injured. Around 240,000 of them have subsequently gone back to their homes after the Philippine military declared their villages safe. These people, many of whom found their houses burned and their livestock stolen upon their return, continue to live in fear. The 370,000 who are still displaced, remain in internally displaced person (IDP) sites or with their relatives. With the peace talks indefinitely stalled, skirmishes and military operations against the MILF continue.
Reported cases of civilians killed as a result of the conflict between August and September 2008 have reached at least 104, many of them children. Government data attributed at least 30 deaths to “hack wounds” or “multiple gunshot wounds”. Some were also killed by “mortar shelling”. Given the difficulty in obtaining data from the remote villages where the fighting continues to take place, there could be more civilian casualties than has been reported. Hundreds of civilians have been injured either from getting caught in the crossfire, hit by government air strikes or by mortar attacks by both sides. […]
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