Tuesday, July 1, 2014

ARMM addressing Sulu family feud that affect fasting Muslims

From the Philippine News Agency (Jul 1): ARMM addressing Sulu family feud that affect fasting Muslims

The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) government and the regional police unit are trying to address a family feud in the island province of Sulu which flared up as hundreds of Muslims celebrate the fasting month of Ramadhan.

The armed conflict involving the Maling Ukkang and Imam Yusoh Anggal families who have been locked in a long standing family feud already affected about 600 families in Barangay Samal Baguingui, Sulu since they have to live with the conflict at a time when they are observing the fasting month as a religious obligation.

Reports reaching the PNP-ARMM regional office here in Parang, Maguindanao showed that left four gunmen dead and another wounded.

A report received by the office of Humanitarian Emergency Assistance and Relief Team (HEART) showed fighting have not subsided and sporadic skirmishes still occur.

HEART is an inter-agency unit of ARMM that attends to the emergency needs of displaced families in the region due to armed conflict or natural calamities.

Both Ukang and Anggal families are fighting for ownership of strategic seaside communities in Sulu.

In its report, HEART-ARMM said it has already extended assistance Tuesday to the displaced families who need to migrate to nearby villages to avoid getting into cross fire when warring clans traded shots.

The Sulu provincial government through the social welfare office had also extended food assistance to the affected families who are all Sama, Moro people leaving in the coasts lines of Sulu.

Regional Gov. Mujiv Hataman said the office of Sakur Tan Jr is now facilitating mediation between warring clans to come to terms and resolve their conflict peacefully.

Tan has invited the Muslim religious leaders to bring the warring clans into the negotiating table.

Chief Supt. Noel Delos Reyes, ARMM police regional director, has already directed the police to act as "peacekeepers" to prevent warring families from seeing each other and trade bullets.

Lawyer Laisa Alamia, ARMM HEART in charge, said the health and social welfare department had sent teams to attend to the food security and health issues of the affected families.

Police reports from Sulu showed that the warring families are affiliated with the Moro National Liberation Front.

Alamia told reporters a temporary truce is being developed among Ukang and Anggal clans even as she urged both sides to observe the interim ceasefire while efforts at resolving their main issue of conflict is being addressed.

Sama residents, like all other Muslims around the country, fast from dawn to dusk during the fasting month both as religious obligation and personal sacrifice by restraining themselves from eating food, solid and liquid and abstaining from earthly desires.

Instead, Muslims devote more time to prayers during the fasting season.


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