Moro Islamic Liberation Front

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The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) (Arabic: جبهة تحرير مورو الإسلامية) is an Islamist group located in the southern Philippines.[2] It is one of two Islamic military groups, the other being the Abu Sayyaf, that claim belligerency against the Government of the Philippines, the United States and its supporters for political corruption. These groups are found in Bangsamoro region, an area in Mindanao, the Sulu Archipelago, Palawan, Basilan and other neighbouring islands.[3]



The Moro Islamic Liberation Front is a group established by supporters of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), a rebel organization formed in the 1960s following the Jabidah massacre. The MNLF established the formation of an independent Islamic state in the southern Philippines and took part in terrorist[4][5] attacks and assassinations to achieve their goals. The government in Manila did not recognize this demand and sent troops into the southern Philippines to control the insurgency. The MILF was established in 1981 when Salamat Hashim and his followers split from the MNLF, due to the MNLF's reluctance to launch an insurgency against the Philippine government and its supporters.[6]

In January 1987, the MNLF accepted the Philippine government's offer of semi-autonomy of the regions in dispute, subsequently leading to the establishment of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao. The MILF, however, refused to accept this offer and continued their insurgency operations. A general cessation of hostilities between the government in Manila and the MILF was signed in July 1997 but this agreement was abolished in 2000 by the Philippine Army under the administration of Philippine President Joseph Estrada. In response, the MILF declared a jihad (holy war) against the government, its citizens and supporters. A cease-fire treaty was signed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.[7][not in citation given]

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