Wednesday, May 10, 2017

OIC, Moro fronts work to harmonize peace agreements

From the Philippine News Agency (May 10): OIC, Moro fronts work to harmonize peace agreements

Leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have met to harmonize the fronts' peace agreements in line with the effort to produce a new Bangsamoro law.

In a statement posted on its website, the OIC on Wednesday said they discussed issues surrounding the drafting of an inclusive law for the Bangsamoro people in Mindanao during a “consultation session” for the Bangsamoro Coordination Forum (BCF) last Monday in Jeddah.

The BCF is a mechanism created in 2010 “for the two fronts to consolidate their efforts to achieve a just and lasting peace for the Bangsamoro people in Mindanao."

Among those who attended the meeting were MILF chair Murad Ibrahim and Yusoph Jikiri, a leader of an MNLF faction. MNLF founding chairp Nur Misuari was not able to attend the meeting or any of his representative.

Long-time facilitator Sayed El-Masry, OIC secretary general and Peace Envoy for the Southern Philippines, presided over the meeting.

“The OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) asked the BCF to discuss ways and means for finding common ground between the 1976 Tripoli Peace Agreement, the 1996 Jakarta Peace Agreement and the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) in order to harmonize the two peace tracks and preserve the gains contained in these agreements, which the MNLF and the MILF mutually recognize and respect,” the statement said.

“It is to be recalled that the OIC always maintained that the 1976 Tripoli Agreement and the 1996 Jakarta Agreement continue to formulate the basis for any settlement of the conflict,” it added.

The OIC said there is an urgent need to harmonize the peace agreements as the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte supports the establishment of the Bangsamoro region replacing the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

“During the meeting, the participants exchanged views about the recent development, in particular, regarding the work of the Bangsamoro Transition Council (BTC), which is entrusted with drafting the basic law for the (new) autonomous (Muslim) region,” the OIC said.

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