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Muslim rebels want international guarantee ahead of peace talks resumption.

Byline: Al Jacinto

MANILA: The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) wants an "international guarantee" for any peace agreement before resuming talks with government, claiming it is still haunted by the row over the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) that led to the Supreme Court block its signing in Kuala Lumpur on Aug. 5.

"The debacle still haunts us," MILF Chairman Murad Ebrahim said in an statement posted on the MILF website (www.luwaran.net).

Because of this "bitter experience," the MILF wants an international guarantee once the peace talks resume to ensure that both the government and the MILF will honor any agreements they forge.

It said this condition was included in its official stand on the resumption of peace talks, as signed by Murad.

On the other hand, the MILF also demanded stop military offensives against the MILF, even in the guise of running after three "rogue" commanders to prevent the evacuation of civilians and the destruction to houses, farms, animals, and other property.

But Murad said the MILF is open to resuming peace negotiations with the Philippine government, in deference to the call of local and international communities.

Murad added that the MILF's standing policy is that negotiation is the "most practical and civilized way of solving the age-old Moro problem and armed conflict in Mindanao."

He also cited the need to stop the humanitarian crisis enveloping Mindanao now, where more than 600,000 civilians were displaced from their homes and farmlands by the ongoing conflict.

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Dec 28, 2008
Words:265
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