Philippine government, rebels begin tentative peace deal

Kuala Lumpur, Aug 13 (IANS) Representatives of the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) met on Saturday in Malaysia to mark the launch of the Implementing Phase of a peace agreement.

The deal, called the Mindanao Peace Agreement, seeks to resolve a decades-long conflict between the Philippine government and the MILF, who have sought a separate state in the Bangsamoro area of the island of Mindanao, EFE news reported.

Two of the most senior members of the two sides present were the Philippines’ Presidential Advisor on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza and MILF chairman Alhaj Murad Ebrahim.

The Malaysian government acted as a facilitator of the launch, with Malaysian Deputy Defence Minister Johari Baharom and Facilitator Abdul Ghafar Tengku Mohamed overseeing the meet.

Reaching the Implementing Phase of the pact reportedly took years of negotiations between the two sides.

Several peace efforts and agreements on local autonomy for the MILF have broken down over the years amid flare ups of violence.



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