Habir Bansil
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Mindanao stories: The rebel fighter

Mindanao is a beautiful island in the southern Philippines, yet one of the most violent parts of Asia. In and around the city of Cotabato, there are several rebel groups, extortion and kidnap gangs, and clans with their own private armies. There are also tens of thousands of people trying to live a normal life.

This year the main rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), signed a roadmap for peace with the government. But what will this mean for those living there?

Habir Bansil is a rebel fighter for the MILF, which under the terms of the deal will gradually be disarmed.

He joined the movement at the age of 18 - and now, 20 years later, he has no regrets about his decision. He spends most of his time living in the rebels' jungle hideouts in the mountains of central Mindanao.

  • 20 Dec 2012