Philippines Signs Accord with Muslim Rebels
By Jack Phillips On October 15, 2012 @ 4:51 pm In Asia Pacific | No Comments
The Philippine government signed a historic accord with a Muslim rebel group, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Monday in an attempt to end four decades of conflict that have left more than 120,000 dead.
The framework deal will forge a path in creating a new autonomous region, Bangsamoro, on the island of Mindanao, replacing the 15-year-old Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, according to a statement issued by the government. The Bangsamoro Region will be established by 2016.
“This agreement not only marks a new chapter in our history; it now defines the very path we take as a people—one where opinions are heard and hope is shared,” said President Benigno Aquino III in a statement.
Aquino described the deal as one that can affect “genuine, lasting peace in Mindanao.”
Moro Islamic Liberation Front chief, Al-Hajji Murad Ebrahim, who was at the signing ceremony, said the deal is “a victory for the Bangsamoro people and the Filipino nation,” according to the Manila Bulletin.
The Front has fought against the government since the 1970s to secure an independent Islamic state in the southern Philippines.
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