The Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GPH) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) today agreed on the final components of a comprehensive peace agreement that ends almost forty years of war that has cost more than 100,000 lives in the Southern Philippine island of Mindanao.
The signing today of the final agreements on Normalisation and Bangsamoro Waters marks the end of a long and often difficult negotiation process and the completion of negotiations on reaching a comprehensive peace agreement. This Annex, the last of four to the overall Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) signed in October 2012, deals with security arrangements for the autonomous Bangsamoro entity created by the FAB.
The FAB and its annexes (on Transitional Arrangements and Modalities, Revenue Generation and Wealth Sharing, Power Sharing, and Normalisation, with a separate addendum on Bangsamoro Waters) are the result of a 17 year long peace process facilitated by Malaysia and supported by an International Contact Group (ICG), which is comprised of states and non-governmental organisations.
“This landmark moment in the quest for peace in Muslim Mindanao demonstrates the value of open, structured and inclusive negotiations to end conflict”, said Michael Vatikiotis, Asia Regional Director of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (the HD Centre). The completion of these agreements also marks the start of a partnership between the GPH and the MILF as they enter the critical implementation stage of the peace process. The next step will be the framing of a Bangsamoro Basic Law to be passed by the Philippine Congress, followed by a plebiscite later this year.
As a member of the International Contact Group, the HD Centre has supported the parties and the Malaysian Facilitator, Tengku Dato Abdul Ghafar. The HD Centre is also working with the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, which is tasked with drafting the Bangsamoro Basic Law.
The HD Centre takes this opportunity to congratulate the parties as well as the facilitator, and salutes the courage of President Benigno Aquino of the Philippines and MILF Chairman Al-Haj Murad Ebrahim for their sustained commitment to the peace process.
Annex on Normalization: http://www.opapp.gov.ph/milf/news/annex-normalization
Addendum on Bangsamoro Waters: http://opapp.gov.ph/resources/addendum-bangsamoro-waters
25 January 2014