Philippines Seeks Foreign Help
The Philippine government is looking to support from some of their foreign partners in resuming stalled peace talks with Muslim rebels. The talks were stalled in August when the Supreme Court halted a draft accord with the MILF that resulted in several of the rebel commanders launching deadly attacks on Christian communities in Mindanao.
1/26/09 Philippines (StraitsTimes) The Philippine government is seeking foreign help to try restart stalled peace talks with Muslim rebels, President Gloria Arroyo said on Monday.
In a speech at the national police headquarters in Manila, Arroyo said her government was seeking support from Brunei, Japan, Libya and Malaysia to try to restart the talks with the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
‘To advance peace and progress in Mindanao, as in the past, we hope to be able to count on the support of our partners… Brunei, Japan and Libya (and) Malaysia, which has been an ardent facilitator’ in previous talks, she said.
Malaysia hosted peace talks after the MILF and Manila declared a ceasefire in 2003. Malaysia also sent ceasefire monitors to Mindanao, along with Brunei, Libya and Japan.
The peace process stalled in August after the Philippines’ Supreme Court struck down a draft accord with the MILF, prompting several MILF commanders to launch deadly attacks on Christian communities in Mindanao.
The 12,000-strong MILF has been fighting to set up as Islamic state in the southern third of this largely Christian nation. The group signed a ceasefire with the government in 2003 to negotiate peace but this has been marred by scattered clashes.