Conflict incidents and deaths declined by 11% and 17%, respectively, from the prior quarter, in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, including the cities of Isabela and Cotabato. However, there was more violence stemming from political and governance issues during this period as the Armed Forces of the Philippines launched attacks against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
Unlike in the third quarter of 2012 and 2013, the number of conflict incidents declined quarter-on-quarter in the third quarter of 2014, especially in the island provinces of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. July, August and September are agricultural lean months, and conflicts normally spike during this period.
Conflict incidents rose by nearly a tenth in the second quarter of 2014, the sixth consecutive increase in conflict incidence since the last quarter of 2012. But conflict deaths in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, including the cities of Isabela and Cotabato, fell by about a third due to less deaths attributed to political causes.
In a quarter that saw the historic signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the challenge of bringing sustainable peace to the Bangsamoro areas was highlighted by an increase in violent conflict in the provinces comprising the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, including the cities of Isabela and Cotabato.