Philippine states cancelling peace deal with Muslims

The peace deal, which envisaged the enlargement of a Muslim autonomous area in the Mindanao region, has been halted by the Top Court pending hearing an appeal by Christian groups that it was unconstitutional.

Philippine states cancelling peace deal with Muslims
The Philippines announced on Thursday it had cancelled a peace deal with the country's biggest Muslim rebel group after fighting broke out this week, but a group leader rejected its calls for re-negotiation.

The announcement by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's government that it was giving up on the agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) over conflict on last month conflict in the south.

"The cancellation of the memorandum of agreement is a painful step in our collective effort to come to an agreement with the MILF," Lorelei Fajardo, a spokeswoman for Arroyo, said in a statement to reporters.

The peace deal, which envisaged the enlargement of a Muslim autonomous area in the Mindanao region, has been halted by the Supreme Court pending hearing an appeal by Christian groups that it was unconstitutional.

The MILF rejected any possibility of re-negotiating the deal.

"We will not re-negotiate, it's already finished," Mohaqher Iqbal, the group's chief negotiator, told reporters. "It's been three years and eight months."

"They studied it and scheduled the signing and then they cancel everything. What is that?"

Muslims did not accept the cancelling of the deal after agreement and thay took the villages which the deal gives to Muslims. But MILF decided to pull out of the villages when governement forces opened fires on the villages and bombed them. Earlier the last week about 40 people killed in the conflict.

After MILF decision pulling out, the government pursue the MILF members. The military said five people were wounded in fighting on Wednesday.

The Philippine government and the 11,000-member MILF have been in on-off talks for more than a decade on how to give Muslims more self-rule in the south.

Reuters
Last Mod: 21 Ağustos 2008, 13:46
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