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Volunteers launch Mindanao 'humanitarian mission'

Muslims, Christians unite to provide aid to help communities torn apart by Marawi fighting

Volunteers launch Mindanao 'humanitarian mission'

Displaced families from the fighting in Marawi receive help at a government evacuation center in the province of Lanao del Sur in the southern Philippines. (Photo by Mark Saludes)

June 15, 2017

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Muslim and Christian volunteers launched a "humanitarian mission" this week to help communities affected by the ongoing conflict in the southern Philippines that started on May 23.

At least 200,000 people have been displaced as government security forces continue to battle for control of the city of Marawi.

"We will visit victims of forced evacuations, provide relief packs, and conduct psychosocial intervention," said Aida Ibrahim, spokeswoman of Kalinaw Mindanao.

Kalinaw Mindanao, an alliance of faith-based and human rights groups, launched the "National Interfaith Humanitarian Mission" aimed at bringing relief and medical services to victims of the conflict.

"Kalinaw, meaning peace, is what we seek in Mindanao," she said, adding that "so much suffering and violence has been done. "This has to stop now," she added.

"We will also listen to the stories of Marawi residents on the extent of damage done by military airstrikes and martial law in Mindanao," said Ibrahim.

Jerome Succor Aba of the group Suara Bangsamoro said that while they condemn the violence committed by the terrorist gunmen "the exaggerated counter-terror response [by the military] has aggravated the situation."


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