Rights groups gear for 2nd humanitarian mission to Maguindanao

Mar. 31, 2015

Peace advocates and human rights groups are gearing for a humanitarian mission to assist communities affected by the military’s all-out offensives against Moro fighters in Maguindanao.

Human rights group Karapatan writes an “urgent appeal” to various agencies on Tuesday to gather support for the thousands of civilians displaced by the war. Karapatan said they will be joining the mission on April this year to deliver aid to the affected communities. The mission, Karapatan said, is the second one following their peace mission conducted last February.

Initial documentation of Karapatan and partner organizations in the area indicates various forms of human rights and international humanitarian law violations committed by state agents in the implementation of the government’s all-out war. Documented violations include forced evacuation and divestment of properties due to the heavy military presence, indiscriminate firing, shelling of mortars, and aerial bombing that resulted to destruction of properties of civilians. Karapatan said civilians also experienced threat, harassment, and intimidation by soldiers encamped in public and religious structures in the communities.

Karapatan also appealed to public to send letters to the concerned agencies of the government and call to stop the all-out offensives against the Bangasamoro fighters, pull-out of military troops from civilian communities and the indemnification of the victims of human rights and international humanitarian law violations, among others.

The all out offensives of the armed forces against the Bangsamoro Freedom Fighters started on February 25.

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