• Strife in South to end within Duterte term–Muslim leader

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    THE almost five decades of Muslim insurgency in southern Mindanao will end within the term of President Rodrigo Duterte, according to a Muslim leader.

    Former Tawi-Tawi Gov. Almarim Centi Tillah, now Duterte’s special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), said political will and government sincerity in achieving peace, full understanding of the Muslim psyche and the support of the OIC will finally resolve the conflict.

    Tillah, in a statement, explained that pivotal in ending the Muslim rebellion is how to bring together the Nur Misuari-led Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) under Al-Hajj Murad Ebrahim, the two biggest Muslim groups in Mindanao.

    “I don’t see any convergence as of now. But the OIC is pivotal here because all Muslims are members of the ummah, the world Muslim community. Whatever is the prescription of the OIC is taken seriously by Muslim organizations,” he said in an interview with The Manila Times.

    Tillah pointed out that all MNLF and MILF peace agreements —1976 Tripoli Agreement, 1987 Jeddah Accord, 1996 Government of the Republic of the Philippines-OIC-MNLF Jakarta Peace Agreement and 2014 GRP-MILF Comprehensive Peace Agreement —were all signed through the moral suasion of the OIC.

    “My prescription is to harness the good offices of the OIC for that international pressure and to make all local government units [LGUs], from the barangay, municipal and provincial levels pro-active. They must be involved in this drive, and so with the multi-sectoral groups, including NGOs [non-government organizations] and the religious leaders, particularly the Muslim imam, ustadz and sultans,” he said.

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