Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy - Solar - Nuclear
..
. Military Space News .




TERROR WARS
Philippine rebel chief in historic peace trip
by Staff Writers
Manila (AFP) Oct 14, 2012


The leader of the Philippines' biggest Muslim rebel group is expected to arrive in Manila on Sunday for a historic visit aimed at ending one of Asia's longest and deadliest insurgencies.

Murad Ebrahim and other senior figures of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) are scheduled to participate in the signing of an accord at the presidential palace on Monday that outlines a roadmap for peace by 2016.

The accord, announced by President Benigno Aquino a week ago, has won applause from foreign governments and the United Nations as a rare chance to end a rebellion that has killed an estimated 150,000 people since the 1970s.

However rank-and-file soldiers of the 12,000-strong MILF, as well as the groups's leaders and independent security analysts, have warned that many obstacles could still derail the peace process.

Ebrahim, an ageing warrior in his 60s who has spent most of his life in the southern Philippine region of Mindanao, will be making his first official trip as MILF leader to Manila and his first visit to the presidential palace.

"We feel honoured to be welcomed in Manila, but I must stress this is just the beginning of the peace journey," Ebrahim's deputy for political affairs Ghazali Jaafar told AFP by phone from the MILF's southern headquarters before departing for Manila.

Jaafar arrived in Manila around 4:00 pm (0800 GMT) Sunday, along with other MILF officials.

He said Ebrahim was to take a separate plane and arrive later in the day.

The MILF chief "feels relieved" that the roadmap for peace would be signed, Jaafar said, after 15 years of negotiations.

In a statement shortly after Aquino's announcement on the "framework agreement", Ebrahim had said the deal "lays down the firm foundations of a just and enduring peace formula".

"The forging of the framework agreement, however, does not mean the end of the struggle for it ushers a new and more challenging stage," he said.

Muslim rebel groups have been fighting for full independence or autonomy for four decades in Mindanao, which they consider their ancestral homeland from before Spanish Christians colonised the country in the 1500s.

The fighting has mired large parts of resource-rich Mindanao in poverty, and led to the proliferation of unlicensed guns and political warlords who battle over fiefdoms.

The estimated four to nine million Muslims are now a minority on Mindanao after years of Catholic immigration, but they insist they should be allowed to govern on their own and control Mindanao, which has fertile farming lands.

The MILF is the biggest and most important remaining rebel group, after the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) signed a peace pact with the government in 1996.

The peace deal with the MNLF led to the creation of an autonomous region that Aquino said was a "failed experiment" that led to corruption and even more poverty.

Underscoring the current fragile security situation in Mindanao, the army said Sunday that three soldiers were gunned down by Al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf militants in a bid to goad fighting ahead of the deal signing.

The Abu Sayyaf is blamed for the country's worst terrorist attacks, and it is not included in the negotiations.

The document to be signed Monday will outline plans to replace that autonomous region with a new one in which the MILF will hold significant power.

Under the framework, the MILF will drop its bid for independence in exchange for autonomy covering several areas on Mindanao island, the southern third of the mainly Catholic Philippines.

They will have their own taxation and share of revenues from natural resources.

It's forces would be disarmed in stages, while the government retains powers in defence, as well as monetary policies.

A transition panel made up of members from both sides is to draft a "basic law" covering the autonomous region to be passed by the nation's parliament by 2015.

The people living in the proposed autonomous region would then need to ratify it in a plebiscite held before 2016 when Aquino is required by the constitution to stand down.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, whose government hosted the talks, and OIC secretary general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu will attend Monday's signing of the peace pact.

.


Related Links
The Long War - Doctrine and Application






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





TERROR WARS
Beard sparks legal debate in Fort Hood shooting case
Fort Belvoir, Virginia (AFP) Oct 11, 2012
Lawyers argued in a US military court Thursday over whether the soldier accused of the Fort Hood massacre can keep his beard despite objections from the judge overseeing his court-martial. A government attorney insisted Major Nidal Hasan, charged with the November 2009 shooting spree, had to conform to US Army regulations prohibiting beards and that the judge in the case was well within his ... read more


TERROR WARS
Russia prepares a response to US missile defence plans

Northrop Grumman Completes SBIRS HEO-3 Payload Integration and Ambient Functional Test

Report: Funding for Iron Dome could be cut

Israel deploys Patriot missiles near northern port

TERROR WARS
Raytheon awarded $349 million US Army contract for TOW missiles

UN's Ban alarmed by North Korea missile claim

Raytheon awarded US Army contract for TOW missiles

New US-SKorea missile deal to help Seoul defense: US

TERROR WARS
Israel's IAI 'wins $958M India drone deal'

US drone strike kills 18 in Pakistan: officials

Israeli defense official says intercepted spy drone failed its mission

Hezbollah says sent Iranian-built drone over Israel

TERROR WARS
Northrop Grumman Begins Production of EHF SatCom System for B-2 Bomb

Mutualink Selects Benchmark to Manufacture Interoperable Communications Systems on Global Scale

Lockheed Martin-Led Team to Begin Work on $4.6 Billion Defense Information Systems Agency Contract

Raytheon to provide Joint Tactical Terminal radios with latest security features to US Navy

TERROR WARS
Ukraine Brings Back Naval Killer Dolphins

4,000 tonnes of old munitions explode in Russia

Lockheed Martin Completes Centralization Of Targets and Countermeasures Operations in Huntsville

US hails war vehicle that saved lives, bypassed bureaucracy

TERROR WARS
Britain to investigate military 'cash for access' claims

EADS/BAE deal collapse a setback, mergers still needed: analysts

BAE, EADS call off merger plan

Germany feared bridesmaid role in EADS-BAE venture: analysts

TERROR WARS
Chinese political system could 'blow up', says US academic

Japanese, US troops mull drill to take island: reports

Nobel peace prize a respite as EU faces testing times

EU Nobel prize earns praise and ridicule

TERROR WARS
Queen's develops new environmentally friendly MOF production method

Drawing a line, with carbon nanotubes

Nano-hillocks: Of mountains and craters

Nanoparticles Glow Through Thick Layer of Tissue




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement