3,000 rebel attack evacuees receive aid

ZAMBOANGA CITY — Nearly 3,000 villagers from North Cotabato have received humanitarian assistance after fleeing from an unidentified armed rebel group that attacked their barangay.

The Ministry of Social Services and Development and the Bangsamoro Rapid Emergency Action on Disaster Incidence extended humanitarian assistance to the 2,873 internally displaced persons from Pikit town on Tuesday and Wednesday, BARMM Interim Chief Minister Ahod Balawag Ebrahim said yesterday.

The BARMM-READi aid were given to 780 affected families of Barangays Calawag and Ginatilan, while the BARMM-MSSD distributed the same aid to 2,093 affected families of Barangays Balong, Panicupan and Macabual of Pikit Cluster 2, Special Geographic Area, Ebrahim said.

The Calawag IDP fled their villages on 5 October, when the armed rebels harass them for half an hour until the local government intervened.

Five houses were partially damaged in the attack while tensions continued in the following days which increased the number of IDP.

The Bangsamoro READi, MSSD, Ministry of Public Order and Safety, Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Ministry of the Interior and Local Government, and concerned local government units conducted a series of coordination meetings to ensure the safety of the IDP during relief distributions.

The Bangsamoro Government will continue its relief operations to assist the affected IDP even as the peace process mechanism is underway and the joint Coordinating Committee on the Cessation of Hostilities is resolving the matter peacefully, Ebrahim said.

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