4/16/2014 4:50:00 PM Paying heed to poor can create peace
Moro Islamic Liberation Front forces take a break during a show of force inside Camp Darapanan in southern Philippines March 27. The Philippines and its largest Muslim rebel group signed a final peace pact, ending about 40 years of conflict that has killed more than 120,000 people in the country's South.
Forty years of bloodshed comes to an end in the Philippines, where the country’s largest Muslim group negotiated a peace agreement with the government.
Approximately 120,000 people have been killed and millions have fled as the Muslim rebels fought for their right to self-determination.
Today, the agreement creates a self-governing region in Mindanao to be called Bangsmoro, which will have the ability to generate its own revenues and royalties from natural resources in the area.
We commend President Benigno Aquino and Muslim leaders for finding common ground to find a mutually beneficial solution. Our hope for the people of the Philippines is that this is another step toward ending armed conflict in the region. Cotabato Cardinal Orlando Quevedo ministers to an archdiocese that includes rebels of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. He told reporters that he admired the determination of the negotiators and “also their wisdom because the Bangsamoro has finally achieved their own fundamental aspiration for self-determination.”
When any minority people is so oppressed by the majority they feel they have no redress within the system, feelings of resentment are a natural response. Pile on poverty, social injustice and bad governance and you have much fuel for insurgency.
Other world leaders take note: Imbalances like these have no easy solution, but paying special attention to the needs of the marginalized can do much toward creating a more peaceful world.