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Philippines: Conflict profile

The Philippines has experienced internal conflict for over four decades. This includes violence related to two main causes: a communist-inspired insurgency and a separatist struggle in the southern Bangsamoro region.

Discontent arising from the repression of dissent and foreign interference in the Philippines led to the formation of the Communist Party of the Philippines after World War II. It aimed to overthrow the government, and remains active; peace talks between it and the government have so far been unsuccessful.

The second conflict has primarily taken place in the southern Philippines.The failure of campaigns in the 1960s to recognise local people’s rights led to the development of nationalist movements, and various armed groups have since fought the government for greater autonomy.

In March 2014 a peace deal was signed between the government and the largest of these groups, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. However, not all of the rebel groups in Mindanao and Sulu archipelago have signed the deal, and clashes in early 2015 highlight the challenges associated with this long and protracted conflict.

It is difficult to know the total number of people who have been affected by the conflicts in the Philippines, but it is often estimated at 150,000. Natural disasters have contributed to the displacement of many more.

Last updated: June 2015

Philippines: peacebuilding resources