The Philippine government signed a power-sharing agreement on Sunday with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), one of the country’s main rebel groups, clearing the way for a final peace agreement that could end decades of tensions.
The Philippine government signed a power-sharing agreement on Sunday with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), one of the country’s main rebel groups, paving the way for a final peace accord.
The deal, which was signed in Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur, has brought the Philippines one step closer towards finally ending its decades-long struggle against Moro insurgencies in the south of the country, which has claimed an estimated 150,000 lives.
"The signing of the Annex on Power Sharing ensures the achievement of a genuine and viable autonomy for the Bangsamoro (Filipino Muslims)," Teresita Deles, the head of the government peace panel, said in a statement.
"It has been a very difficult round but we were able to overcome a lot of obstacles," she added.
President Benigno Aquino was informed of the agreement and congratulated both parties, his spokesman Herminio Coloma said.
The two sides in October last year had signed an initial pact on ending the conflict, in preparation for a final accord.
Under the plan, the 12,000-strong MILF would give up its fight for an independent homeland in the southern island of Mindanao in return for significant power and wealth-sharing in a new autonomous region there.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
Date created : 2013-12-08