An autonomous region of the Philippines that occupies the southern part of the Philippine archipelago. The region gained autonomy in the late 1980s in the course of an armed conflict between the separatists and the central government.
The titular ethnic group is the peoples of the Moro (Muslims Moro people), to which 13 ethnic groups are linguistically related. The proportion of the peoples of the Moro in the region's population is more than 90%. Moro is distinguished from Filipinos by language and religion. Moreover, confessional specifics are of paramount importance: unlike the Catholic population of the main part of the country, the Moro are Muslims. Researchers emphasize that the conflict in the Philippines is, first of all, based on religious ground.
The region has a number of specific preferences. Sharia courts operate here, although they only apply to the Muslim population. In addition, in the education system, along with the English and Filipino as an auxiliary, the Arabic language is studied.
The current situation on the island is characterized by extreme ethnopolitical instability. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front, fighting for the establishment of an independent Islamic state in the south of the Philippines, continues its insurgent activities. In the course of a protracted civil war, over 100,000 people were killed in 40 years, another 500,000 were forced to flee the island.