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05/25/2019 Philippines (International Christian Concern) – Marawi was liberated by the Philippine army from the Maute terrorists in October 2017, after the militants had occupied the Muslim-majority city for five months. However, the road to recovery in the last two years has been stagnant, leaving thousands in temporary shelters or homeless.

While demolition of ravaged buildings has finally begun, after failing to deliver its promise several times, the government does not expect rebuilding to be completed before the end of 2021.

Experts warn that stalled reconstruction efforts could strengthen the narrative of extremist groups in the volatile region. This frustrated, angry displaced population in Marawi could pose a risk to the Catholic-majority country.

Sidney Jones from the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, told AFP, “The government needs to be concerned about the threats of ISIS attracting young (locals) because of the ongoing resentment from the failure to rebuild and general anger over the destruction.”

Francisco Lara, an adviser with peace group International Alert, also shared his concern with AFP that “this will be used as an example again of government discrimination against Muslims and the government neglect for the responsibility of rebuilding Marawi.”

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