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The battle of Marawi also known as the Marawi Siege was an armed conflict in Marawi, Lanao del Sur. The siege started on May 23, 2017 and lasted for five months, between the Philippine government security forces, and Maute and Abu Sayyaf Salafi Jihadist groups headed by Isnilon Hapilon. The two groups, Maute and Abu Sayyaf Salafi Jihadist, are affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levitant (ISIL), which has been recognized as a terrorist organization by the United Nation and individual countries for their human right abuses, war crimes, and ethnic cleansing in northern Iraq. The battle of Marawi resulted in the mass evacuation of civilians, destruction of infrastructures, and even the death of many civilians. According to Fonbuena, C. (May 30, 2017), the conflict started when the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) conducted a military raid with the goal of checking on the locals who are bearing firearms. This raid is believed to be what triggered the plan of extremists to seize Marawi, which makes the Marawi crisis both a mismanaged military raid and a foiled scheme as stated by General Rolando Bautista, the commander who ordered the military raid.   In addition, this is not the first conflict in Mindanao. Engagement in armed resistance have been happening since the 16th century between the American troops and Muslin bands due to religious reasons known as the Moro Wars (1901-13). The on and off fight between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) is another predicament wherein an estimate of 120,000 people killed during the conflicts. It is safe to assert that the goal of this kind of militant organization such as the Abu Sayaf and Maute group is to create an independent Muslim state in Mindanao. Furthermore, with armed conflicts come human rights abuses. The Maute group and Abu Sayaf fought battles against the Philippine army between February 2016 and March 2017 in Buntig, a municipality near Marawi. On May 23, the siege began when Maute group kidnapped local priest Fr. Chito Soganub and other civilians. This also led to President Rodrigo Duterte to placed the entire island of Mindanao under Martial Law and revoke the writ of habeas of corpus, which allows arrests without warrant. By May 27, many civilians of Marawi flee their homes. Many of the militants’ victims were Christians. Civilians who fail to recite the Shahada, which is an expression of Muslim faith, or failed to respond appropriately to Muslim greetings were often executed. Many Muslims help Christians hide and head out of Marawi by escorting them out of the city in theirown vehicles or dressing them in traditional Muslim clothing (Unson, May 29, 2017). Aside from the extrajudicial executions, the militants also captured numerous civilians as hostage. The militants physically and mentally abused the hostages by forcing them to do labor and even going as far by making them human shields and sex slaves. Moreover, some of the hostages successfully escaped the militants while others were rescued by the military. Nevertheless, the Philippine military was also plague with scandals with reports of ill treatment by the government forces and accusations of widespread looting were posted on social media and news outlets. According to a report by Amnesty International (November 17, 2017), “Members of the armed forces detained numerous people and accused them, without evidence, of being militants. Detainees were allegedly then subjected to various forms of ill-treatment including sustained beatings and threats of execution”. In regards to the looting report, the defense secretary ensured the public that they will apply full force of law will be apply towards soldiers who are found guilty of looting, and that they will compensate the victims.         By September 22, the Philippine military has reclaimed many areas in Marawi such as the Grand Mosque and Masiu Bridge, which led the Militants’ power to weaken. Fast-forward a month; Maute group top leaders, Isnilon Hapilon and Omar Maute, were killed in a military assault with the help of a female hostage who escaped and disclosed the location of the two leaders. The next day, October 17, 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte announced the liberation of Marawi from the terrorists, Maute group and Abu Sayaf. Additionally, this victory would not be possible without the cooperation of other states. The battle for Marawi showed how liberalism through cooperation is played in international relations. Countries such as Malaysia, South Korea, Turkey, Israel, Indonesia, Australia, Thailand, Singapore, and the United States offered military, surveillance, and humanitarian support. Many international organizations for instance the European Union and United Nations has also donated towards humanitarian aids for the people affected by the conflict. In the end, the conflict in Marawi left at least 1,131 people dead and huge areas of the city were destroyed and reduced to rubble. There were also deaths in evacuation centers due to diseases and living conditions. 4 evacuees died from dehydration and 19 died of diseases contacted due to the congested living conditions in evacuation centers. In addition, 11 militants were captured including Muhammad Ilham Syaputra, an Indonesian militant who is one of the perpetrator in the 2016 Jakarta attacks.In the wake of this tragedy, the President allocated P20 million in the rehabilitation of Marawi. The United States also provided P730 million for Marawi rehabilitation, P153 million will be used for humanitarian assistance through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and P577 million will be for the stabilization and rehabilitation of the city and also restoring public services. The Philippine government estimated that the rebuilding of the city would take around 2 to 3 years and that the government will need $1.1 billion to rebuild the city as stated by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

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