Thursday Oct, 06 2022 07:40:07 PM

Hundreds of Maguindanao villagers displaced by `rido’ hostilities

Mindanao Armed Conflict • 16:30 PM Mon Feb 14, 2022
John M. Unson

SULTAN KUDARAT, Maguindanao - Authorities are scrambling to settle a “rido” involving two heavily-armed Moro groups here whose gunfights over the weekend  displaced no fewer than 300 families.

Rido means clan war in most Southern Philippine languages.

Major Gen. Juvymax Uy of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division on Monday urged local officials to disengage the feuding groups to prevent the displacement of more residents in Barangay Sinditan here, scene of clashes that sent villagers running for their lives. 

The two rival groups, one led by Commander Gringo and the other by Jun Barang, are squabbling for control of strategic areas in Barangay Sinditan. 

Col. Jibin Bongcayao, Maguindanao provincial police director, said Monday both sides last fought using assault rifles on Saturday morning, forcing hundreds of villagers to evacuate to safer areas.

He said the chief of police here, Lt. Col. Sabri Lakibul, reported that one of the feuding groups lost two men in Saturday’s skirmishes, escalating the animosity between them.

 Uy, commander of 6th ID who is also in control of the military-led anti-terror Task Force Central, said they have acceded to requests by community leaders to give the ceasefire committee of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front enough time to resolve the rido between the two groups, both identified with the MILF. 

Barangay Sinditan residents who have relocated to safer areas for fear of getting trapped in the crossfire are reluctant to return to their conflict-stricken villages while there is no MILF-brokered truce yet between the rival groups. 

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