Philippines Rebel Leader: Challenges Exist With Peace Deal

Posted October 27th, 2012 at 9:00 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

The Philippines' top Muslim rebel leader says a peace deal signed with the Philippine government can end the armed conflict between the two sides only if the Filipino Muslim community supports it.

Murad Ebrahim said Saturday the task of implementing the peace deal is big and complicated, and that it must become reality on the ground.

Ebrahim's group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, recently signed a preliminary peace agreement with the government that outlines steps to end the conflict by 2016.

Muslim rebels have been waging a decades-long fight for self-determination in the south of the country.

Officials say the agreement specifies the extent of power, revenues and territory in the south, creating a new Muslim autonomous region called “Bangsamoro.”

The framework of the deal sets up a 15-member Transition Commission, which has until 2016 to draft laws setting up the new region.

Four decades of fighting in the south have killed more than 120,000 people and prevented development in the region.