A recent peace agreement appears to have brought an element of stability to the Muslim regions of the Philippines. But the history of the insurgency has been one of groups fracturing, making peace, and slipping back into conflict. What should make this peace agreement different? The answers lie in the conflict's recent history: the military power of the Philippines' armed forces, the economic rewards of peace, and leaders who are determined to reach a settlement.
1The Muslim minority of the southern Philippines has been in conflict with the central government since the early 1970s. A peace agreement was signed early in 2014.
2While the conflict is divided along religious lines, not all groups have framed their resistance in Islamic terms – and some have used Islam as a cover for banditry.
3Many fighters have been influenced by global jihad, particularly in Afghanistan, but the grievances they are fighting against are local.