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Fate of insurgents hinge on transition period: Moro Muslims

Moro Muslims who ran away from the pressure of Philippine government seek sheltering in camps

Source : Anadolu Agency | 22 Oct 2012

After signing the historic peace agreement between the Philippine government and Muslims, the subject of 'how Moro Islamic Liberation Front's insurgents would lay down their arms' came into prominence.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Mohamed Ikbal, the general of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), stated that they will form a joint armed forces with Philippine forces.

General Ikbal assessed the "framework peace agreement" which was signed in a ceremony on October 15 in Manila's Malacanang Presidential Palace with the participation of President Benigno Aquino III and MILF leader Al Haj Murad Ebrahim.

He told Anadolu Agency that the agreement satisfied Moro Muslims however in the scope of stabilizing the peace, steps of the Philippine government have such importance.

Ikbal explained that he spent most of his time in camps where Moro Muslims shelter and said, "Moro Muslims who ran away from the pressure of Philippine government seek sheltering in camps and now the camp life became like a life style for them."

Ikbal said, "Between the Philippine government and MILF, there will be a transition period. Situation of more than 10 thousand insurgents who live and receive education in camps will become clearer during that period."

According to the framework peace agreement that the new autonomous region in Mindanao will be called "Bangsamoro" and general elections in the region will take place in 2016. Both sides will continue holding detailed negotiations such as on the subjects of extent of power, revenues and territory share and transition process. After a one-year-long talks, the framework agreement will become more comprehensive.

The preliminary framework deal -reached after 15 years of negotiations brokered by Malaysia- constitutes a roadmap to a final settlement which would allow for an autonomous region administered by Muslims in the south.

Nearly 120 thousand have been killed and two million people have been forced to leave their homes in the 40-year-old conflict.


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