The Philippines — an archipelago of more than 7,000 islands that was once a U.S. colony and is a current U.S. treaty ally — has faced challenges to its stability and national cohesion since independence, particularly emanating from the violent conflict in Mindanao that began in the 1970s. However, the establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao in 2019 has presented the greatest opportunity in years to forge a sustainable peace in Mindanao. Building on decades of peacebuilding efforts in the region, USIP is working to expand research on conflict dynamics in Mindanao and to support the Bangsamoro Transition Authority and local civil society.

Featured   Publications

Examining the Military’s Soft Power Challenge in the Southern Philippines

Examining the Military’s Soft Power Challenge in the Southern Philippines

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

By: Joseph Franco

This is a moment of both real and potential transition for the AFP, as the prospect of sustainable peace in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and at least wearying of non-state threats could enable a transition in force posture from a focus on internal security operations to broader regional defense.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Civilian-Military RelationsPeace Processes

Examining Women’s Critical Role in Peacebuilding in the Southern Philippines

Examining Women’s Critical Role in Peacebuilding in the Southern Philippines

Wednesday, February 9, 2022

By: Aliah Baniaga Adam

Peace is the new battle cry for the island of Mindanao. Situated in the southern Philippines, the region is among the poorest in the nation despite natural resources and promising agrarian assets. Mindanao is also prone to calamities, from clashes between the military and armed groups and violent clan feuds to seasonal natural disasters, that regularly displace entire communities. These unrelenting disruptions to our social, political and economic lives have impacted generations. 

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace ProcessesGender

Examining Local Grievances and Militant Groups in the Southern Philippines

Examining Local Grievances and Militant Groups in the Southern Philippines

Tuesday, February 1, 2022

By: Acram Latiph

The 2017 Marawi siege was devastating for my city and its people. For five long months, Dawlah Islamiyah, known locally as the Maute-ISIS group, battled the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), resulting in the displacement of more than 300,000 people. Large parts of Marawi remain uninhabitable to this day. As a result, many of the city’s residents are forced to live in camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) almost five years since the end of the siege. 

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace ProcessesFragility & Resilience

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Current   Projects

Religious Women Negotiating on the Frontlines

Religious Women Negotiating on the Frontlines

In recent years, peace processes — such as the track 2 intra-Afghan negotiations — have shown that on both a moral and practical level, women’s inclusion is essential. Women’s involvement in peace processes increases their likelihood of success and longevity and can increase legitimacy. While more literature on women contributing to mediation and negotiation efforts is slowly being produced, little attention is currently being paid to the already existing work of women who employ their faith and mobilize religious resources for peacebuilding.

GenderReligion

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