CSOs travel to Marawi to dialogue with local authorities

Saving Lives Movement, composed of 41 civil society organizations in northern Mindanao, converged in a solidarity and peace caravan on June 12 to Marawi city to have dialogues with its city and provincial officials following the displacement of more than 200,000 residents amid violent conflict between government troops and the Maute armed group.

Although the entire Mindanao is put under martial rule on May 23, 2017 by President Rodrigo Duterte but Marawi city felt most the effects of this declaration.

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Marawi mayor Mujul Gandamra (center), Sultan of Marawi Hamidullah Atar, and Samira Gutoc-Tomawis of Ranao Rescue Volunteers.

The entire city is under lockout. No civilians are allowed to enter the city. The armed conflict have resulted  to deaths of both conflicting parties including civilians and massive displacement of residents.

The last twenty days of conflict within the city demonstrated on national reports the actual aerial bombing and heavy artillery fires directed towards suspects’ location. A number of houses, business establishments, academic infrastructures, church, and other properties were torched and razed to ashes.

The peace caravan provided an opportunity for civil society to visit the area and to be in dialogue with city and provincial officials, including representatives from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

The group had conversations with mayor Mujul Gandambra, provincial vice governor Bombit Adiong, and Sultan of Marawi Hamidullah Atar.

The civil society involved in this peace caravan are engaged in sustained peacebuilding and in humanitarian interventions for Marawi.

EcoWEB Inc. is a part of the Saving Lives Movement.