DARUL JAMBANGAN, Maimbung, Sulu: Sultan Fuad Kiram, first of the Sultanate of Sulu & Sabah on Thursday called for a peaceful resolution of the Zambaonga standoff.
Sultan Fuad said that he felt sad that the Zamboanga conflict went out of hand and ended in bloodshed instead of solving it in a peaceful manner.
“I lament the loss of lives in the Zamboanga conflict and also pray that it is settled soon to prevent further violence and bloodshed,” he said.
Sultan Fuad called on both the government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) to exercise maximum restraint, tolerance, and goodwill to protect most of all the civilian populace.
Sultan Fuad appealed for an immediate ceasefire in the Zam-boanga conflict, which is on its sixth day and apparently a similar conflict also flared in Lamitan City in Basilan province. His appeal was addressed to the hierarchy of the Armed Forces of the Philippines in Mindanao and as well as to the MNLF Central Committee headed by Chairman Misuari.
Sultan Fuad also appealed to Chairman Misuari to order the MNLF forces headed by Ustadz Haber Malik to withdraw all the MNLF combatants particularly those spread out in four barangay of Zamboanga City—Rio Hondo, Campo Muslim, Santa Catalina and Sta. Barbara—so that thousands of evacuees housed at the Joaquin Enriquez Sports Center in Baliwasan, Zamboanga City can safely return to their homes.
The Sultan of Sulu also called on international bodies like the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to help those in need especially the civilians who were caught in crossfire. ICRC-Zambo-anga office is in the vicinity of Pettit Barracks a few hundred meters away from Santa Barbara, one of the four barangay under siege.
He said the Organization of Islamic Cooperation headed by its Secretary General Prof. Ekme-leddin Ihsanoglu should come into the situation and mediate to find for a peaceful solution of the conflict.