Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville ceasefire talks delivers fragile deal

Read more

FOCUS

Sluggish tourist season in Crimea

Read more

ENCORE!

Bartabas : Mixing Christ with Spanish music and dancing horses

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

WEB NEWS

Israel and Hamas battle online over public opinion

Read more

  • Live: France says missing Algerian plane 'probably crashed'

    Read more

  • 51 French nationals aboard missing Algerian plane

    Read more

  • Deadly Israeli strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to easy victory in 18th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • US, European aviation agencies lift travel restrictions to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death arrives in Italy

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

  • Bomb attacks leave scores dead in north Nigeria

    Read more

Asia-pacific

Philippines signs historic peace deal with Muslim rebel group

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-03-27

The Philippine government signed a peace accord with the country’s largest Muslim rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), on Thursday – the culmination of years of negotiations.

The deal, a major political achievement for President Benigno Aquino III, grants largely Muslim areas of the country’s southern Mindanao region greater political autonomy in exchange for an end to armed rebellion. It is unlikely, however, that it will end all violence in a part of the country long-plagued by lawlessness, poverty and Islamist insurgency.

Other insurgent groups have vowed to keep fighting for full independence. The southern Mindanao region is also home to the Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim extremist network with international links that the Philippine army is battling with American support.

Aquino and leaders of MILF witnessed the signing of the agreement in the presidential palace in Manila. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, whose country brokered the peace talks, also attended the ceremony.

“In signing this agreement, the two sides have looked not to the problems of the past, but to the promise of the future,” Najib said. “After so many years of conflict, and so many lives lost, it is a momentous act of courage.”

The peace accord concludes formal negotiations that began in 2001. A cease-fire agreement has been in place since 1997 and has been largely observed by both sides.

At least 120,000 killed in violence

More than 120,000 people have died in separatist violence since the 1970s in Mindanao, the main southern Philippine island. It is home to most of the country’s 5 million Muslims, but Christians remain the overall majority.

Previous presidents, including Corazon Aquino, Aquino’s mother, tried but failed to resolve the conflict, which has stunted growth in the region and helped foster Islamic extremism in the country and elsewhere in Southeast Asia.

Much work remains to ensure that the terms of the deal and the political framework it envisages are implemented fully during the remainder of Aquino’s term, which ends in 2016.

Under the accord, called the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the Moro rebels agreed to end violence and their demand for a separate state in exchange for broader autonomy.

An existing five-province Muslim autonomous region is to be replaced by a more powerful, better-funded and potentially larger region to be called Bangsamoro.

(FRANCE 24 with AP)

Date created : 2014-03-27

  • PHILIPPINES

    Philippines reaches power-sharing deal with rebel group

    Read more

  • PHILIPPINES

    New Philippines clashes shatter ceasefire hopes

    Read more

  • PHILIPPINES

    Philippine VP to seek deal with Muslim rebels

    Read more

COMMENT(S)