SULTAN KUDARAT, Philippines – The top rebel leader in the Philippines, Murad Ebrahim, warned Saturday (October 27th) that the peace deal signed by his group earlier this month will end the armed conflict only if the broader Filipino Muslim community gets behind it, AFP reported.
Under the October 15th framework agreement, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will give up its quest for an independent homeland in the south in return for significant power and wealth-sharing in a new autonomous region there, to be known as Bangsamoro.
Authorities and MILF leaders must work to convince the large Muslim minority that the October 15th accord was a step forward for them, Ebrahim said Saturday.
"Please be reminded that the task ahead is bigger and more complex and complicated: translating this agreement into reality on the ground," AFP quoted him as saying in a statement read during a news conference on Mindanao Island.
The accord has been criticised by some factions within the rival Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF). Ebrahim added, "Our main task is ... to make them feel and realise that the framework agreement is not only an agreement between the MILF and the (government) but an all-inclusive agreement between the Bangsamoro people and the Philippines state."