Bandar Marawi or known as Marawi City is a city and capital of the Lanao del Sur region of Mindanao Island, Philippines. The Marawi people are usually called Maranao and speak Maranao. They are named after Lake Lanao, which is called Ranao in their language. Located at the edge of the lake, Marawi City is also the only city in the Philippines with the term “Islamic City” as the majority of its population is Muslim.
On 23 May 2017, the serene and peaceful City of Marawi was shaken by a series of fighting and armed conflicts between the Philippine Army and Al-Maute Militant. The five-month-long crisis was the longest urban warfare in Philippine modern history after the Second World War.
In just four short days of battle, more than 200,000 people in Marawi City were forced to move to neutral areas around Iligan due to safety and other factors. Their homes and settlements were mostly destroyed and razed to the ground. Electrical and communication channels were also shut down due to the ongoing battle. Many people lost their source of income and livelihood. Residents who were housed in temporary settlements, especially small children were starving due to lack of aid and support and were left in devastating condition.
To date, after five months of its conflict, Marawi City lay in ruins and utter destruction. Among the latest news we have received from our representatives who have been conducting survey there recently, the impact of this conflict has recorded a total of 200 000 people were displaced from their homes . 962 militants were reported dead. More than 1,400 Filipino soldiers have suffered injuries and 165 deaths.
HaRUM is taking the development of the crisis in Marawi into serious consideration. The crisis has definitely caused a great impact on the development, humanity and mental state of the locals. Indeed this war has caused severe destruction to Marawi City that will take years to rebuild.
HaRUM has personally sent our representatives for the humanitarian mission into war torn Marawi City to get a sense of the daily lives of the Marawi people who have been living under a traumatic bombing threats. In its first mission, HaRUM has sent 4 humanitarian delegates to gather information, collect records and provide food aid with the help of the Philippines-based MINSUPALA Realm Intergration for Diversity Inc. In its second mission HaRUM has sent food and medical supplies collected from the contributions of Malaysian citizens who are concerned about the war victims over there.
We urge NGOs out there to take part in restoring the development of Marawi City and rehabilitating the feelings and emotions of the Marawi people that are under constant stress in hope of building a new life. They are not terrorists but are victims of situational circumstances that forced them to be in the middle of the warfare organized by Maute terrorists. They are like any other casualties of war such as Syria, Palestine, Iraq and Rohingya genocide victims. Imagine those who have been living peacefully are suddenly entangled in the struggle between the government and the Maute Terrorists. Their homes, businesses, schools and farms were destroyed in a blink of an eye forcing them to live in destitution in refugee camps on the outskirts of Marawi City.
They look forward to loving and caring hands that would generously offer help in rebuilding their good life with basic necessities as a human and a servant of God who deeply misses peace and unity because they are just innocent victim of the unwanted conflict.