Posted by: JWP | 04/21/2010

Islamic Rebels, Philippine Gov’t Sign New Agreements

MILF, RP sign new agreements, but peace deal is likely

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao / April 22, 2010) – Philippine peace negotiators and Muslim rebels signed several agreements ahead of national elections, but a major accord that would end decades of secessionist war in the restive southern region of Mindanao is still uncertain.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the country’s largest Muslim rebel group fighting for self-determination, said it signed the agreement in Kuala Lumpur after two days of tough negotiations.

Mohagher Iqbal, the MILF’s chief peace negotiator, said the agreements will provide administrative support to the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute, the cease-fire committees; the Ad Hoc Joint Action Group and a mechanism to return the internally displaced persons.

Peace negotiators also agreed on the civilian protection component of the International Monitoring Team and the Philippines campaign to ban landmines.

The MILF, however, said the fate of the interim agreement is still not settled, even if the peace panels agreed on some common areas which are yet to be discussed in their next meeting early next month.

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