Preserving the Southern Philippines’ Threatened Peace Deal

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As the world was fixated on the Beijing Olympics and Russia’s incursion into Georgia, a fledgling peace process between the Philippine government and Muslim rebels fighting for autonomy in the country’s restive south was beginning to unravel. The Philippine Supreme Court’s suspension of a key peace agreement fanned the flames of violence in the region, sending insurgent factions storming into villages. One hundred fifty thousand people fled their looted and torched homes, while the Philippine military pounded rebel hideouts with heavy artillery fire. The United Nations expressed alarm, while the International Red Cross said more than 80,000 people were displaced. […]

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