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Peace deal with Moros just reward for negotiations.

The decision taken by Muslim rebels in Philippines, operating under the banner of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (Milf), to hand over their weapons as part of an arduously negotiated peace deal, must be seen as an important and significant step towards the conclusion of hostilities. The granting of autonomy to Mindanao, an island home to five million Muslims in the southern part of Philippines, is still being debated by a wary Philippines Congress, given that the deaths of 44 elite policemen who were ambushed in that area hangs heavy on the conscience of the government and public.

It is, however, a step in the right direction as it could bring an end to decades of violence, misery, destitution and economic strain.

There needs to be an element of trust if the peace deal with the Moros is to be finalised. The latter have taken the initial confidence-building step by laying down arms in a gradual process. The government must now respond positively to such actions. Broader autonomy will have a positive effect on life in this troubled region. For the government of President Benigno Aquino, which is accountable to the people, there can be no greater accomplishment.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Jun 17, 2015
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