A Muslim separatist group in southern Philippines led by Nur Misuari. Formed in 1969 to safeguard Moro interests in response to animosity between the Christian majority and the Muslim minority that resulted from the influx of Christian settlers into then Muslim-majority Mindanao, Sulu, and Palawan from the 1950s on. The party declared its intention to establish an independent Bangsa Moro Republik (1974), and civil war broke out. In January 1987 it tentatively accepted the government's offer of autonomy; by 1988 talks had deadlocked and fighting resumed on a much lower level. It refused to acknowledge the four autonomous Moro provinces created in a 1989 plebiscite. Since 1996 the party and the government have enjoyed an uneasy peace bolstered in part by economic rejuvenation in the region, but a radical splinter group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, continues to foment rebellion through guerrilla warfare and kidnappings.
See also Moro Islamic National Front