MUSLIM LOVE FOR TRIBAL FEUDS
Philippine clan wars threaten truce with rebels
15 Jun 2005
MANILA, June 15 (Reuters) - Vicious clan wars in the southern Philippines are a major threat to a fragile two-year ceasefire between the government and Muslim separatist rebels, military officials and analysts said on Wednesday.
Major Dickson Hermoso, a member of the government's ceasefire panel, said soldiers and rebels were often dragged into family differences on the troubled southern island of Mindanao, turning clan feuds, known locally as "rido", into full-scale battles.
"Rido is undermining the gains of the ongoing talks between the government and the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front)," Hermoso told a forum on Philippine clan wars on Wednesday.
"More often than not, the origin of a firefight on conflict-affected areas in Mindanao is due to rido."
Malaysia has been brokering talks since March 2001 to end more than 36 years of separatist rebellion that has killed at least 120,000 people, stunted development on resource-rich Mindanao, and hurt the overall investment climate.
Informal meetings to narrow differences on the thorny issue of ancestral land for Muslims in the south are due to resume on June 21 in Kuala Lumpur.
Studies funded by the Asia Foundation and the U.S. Agency for International Development found there had been more than 1,200 clan feuds in Mindanao since the 1930s, killing nearly 5,000 people and displacing tens of thousands.
About 60 percent of the feuds, which often last for several generations, remain unresolved, adding to the perception of lawlessness and violence in the southern Philippines.
Abhoud Syed Lingga, executive director of Mindanao-based Institute of Bangsamoro Studies, said most of the feuds were caused by political and business rivalries or land disputes, but could be over something as petty as a rough game of basketball.
"There are other
factors that affect ceasefire violations," said Lingga. "But unless we can do
something on rido, it would have influence on the peace process."
Tribal factions clash in Pakistan:
By Reuters, Peshawar
Tue, 28 Mar 2006, 09:41:00
At least 26
people have been killed in clashes between factions led by rival Muslim clerics
in Pakistan's tribal region on the border with Afghanistan, intelligence
officials said on Tuesday.
A Pakistani cleric incited tribesmen to attack Afghan families settled in the Khyber area, who were following a rival Afghan preacher, the officials said.
The clashes took place around Fort Salop, some 15 km southwest of Peshawar, the main city in North West Frontier Province.
Armed tribesmen attacked the house of a local supporter of the Afghan cleric, and shot dead at least 18 people before setting the house alight on Tuesday, witnesses and intelligence officials said. One of the attackers was also killed.
"Dead bodies are still lying there and paramilitary troops have sealed off all roads leading to that place," Mohammed Nisar Afridi, vice president of a local trade union, told Reuters.
The clashes had begun on Monday evening, when seven tribesmen were killed and 25 wounded before paramilitary troops opened fire to disperse a mob.
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