Monday, September 9, 2013

MNLF in mainland Mindanao not part of Zamboanga City siege -- Sema

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 9): MNLF in mainland Mindanao not part of Zamboanga City siege -- Sema

Members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) forces in mainland Mindanao remained in their respective communities and will not join MNLF forces involved in the Zamboanga City siege, the top MNLF official here said Monday.

"Our forces in mainland Mindanao and those in the Zamboanga, Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi area are not joining our brother MNLF who attacked Zamboanga City Monday," Muslimin Sema, chairman of the bigger faction of the MNLF, said.

"We condemn the attack on innocent civilians," Sema said, adding that MNLF forces in mainland Mindanao remain calm in their communities and will not join the group in Zamboanga.

"I have instructed the MNLF under my command to stay put and allow the peaceful resolution of the Zamboanga incident," he said.

"We remain committed to the 1996 peace agreement," Sema said, adding that his faction has expressed loyalty to the 1996 GPH-MNLF accord which is the subject of a tripartite review by the MNLF, government and the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) through the Indonesian government.

"The Zamboanga siege by some MNLF forces acted on their own and had no sanctions from MNLF forces that I lead," said Sema, former vice mayor of Cotabato City.

The MNLF now seems fragmented into three factions -- one headed by Sema, the other by former MNLF chair Nur Misuari and the third by the ICC or MNLF-Islamic Command Council.

The early Monday siege in Zamboanga City resulted to the death of at least three persons with scores of civilians reportedly taken hostage.

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