Philippines: June 14, 2002




 The government accuses the MILF of aiding the Abu Sayyaf to evade army capture on Basilan. The MILF had promised, in writing, to not assist Abu Sayyaf. At the same time, MILF members are claiming to be training 50,000 more fighters and manufacturing 10,000 anti-tank weapons. This is thought to be daydreaming, but it does represent the frustrations and aspirations of many young Moslems in the southern Philippines. But a century of fighting for an independent Moslem state in the southern Philippines has failed. Many of the economic and social problems in the southern Philippines have to do with clan warfare and local customs. 

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