Philippines

IDP Protection Assessment Report - Armed Conflict between AFP and BIFF in Maguindanao Province, BARMM (IDPPAR no. 5, Issue no. 2, 2021 | 14 April 2021)

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CURRENT SITUATION

The armed conflict between the government troops and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) is no longer confined within the SPMS Box but it has escalated to adjacent Municipalities of Datu Hoffer Ampatuan, and boundaries of Guindulungan and South Upi Municipalities. Recently, the Municipalities of Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Mamasapano, Shariff Saydona Mustafa, and Talitay and were placed under State of Calamity. The latest related armed encounter particularly between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front-Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces and the BIFF as per UNDSS report was on 11 April 2021 in Barangay Tuayan of Datu Hoffer Ampatuan municipality which resulted to four casualties.

On 31 March, a meeting with the Municipal Peace and Order Council was held in Datu Saudi Ampatuan Municipality to discussthe peace and order conditions in the affected areas, as well as the situation of the IDPs. There was no clear agreement regarding the return of the IDPs given the uncertainties in the security situation in the places of origin of the displaced populations. However despite this, returns have been reported with the support of the local authorities. MSSD and other humanitarian agencies have provided return package to returning IDPs. This has been confirmed by the provincial staff members of the MSSD in Maguindanao during the regular Mindanao Virtual Protection Coordination Platform (MVPCP) meeting on 13 April 2021.

Based on the IDP Profiling of the MSSD and the Protection Cluster, there are a total of 10,617 displaced families (approximately 40,115 individuals) as of 12 April 2021.

These IDPs are from the Municipalities of Datu Hoffer, Datu Odin Sinsuat, Datu Salibo, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Datu Unsay, Guindulungan, Kabuntalan, Mamasapano, Shariff Aguak, Shariff Saydona Mustapha, and Talitay. The exact number of returned displaced population is still to be determined.

INCIDENT BACKGROUND

On 18 March 2021, at five o’clock in the morning, a series of mortar shelling was fired by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) towards Barangay Kitango, Datu Saudi Ampatuan Municipality and neighboring barangays in the Municipalities of Mamasapano and Shariff Saydona Mustapha, all in Maguindanao Province. This was followed by a ground gunfight between the AFP forces and the alleged members of the BIFF around 10:30AM in Barangay Kitango Proper, particularly in the market site along the provincial highway.

INCIDENT KEY FIGURES

Families 10,600 total number of IDP families

Persons approximately 40,100 number of persons displaced

Missing No report

Damaged Houses One commercial building was reported burned in Brgy. Kitango, Datu Saudi Ampatuan, and an unaccounted number of houses were slightly damaged

In Need of Shelter Ongoing validation

Children No available data

Civilian Death One reportedly died

Civilian Injured Two minors were injured

Vulnerable Persons No available data