Trust, Communication Enabled Philippines Peace Deal

Trust, Communication Enabled Philippines Peace Deal

Over the weekend, the Philippine government announced that it had reached a framework agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to end the separatist insurgency the rebel group has waged for decades in the southern Philippines.

As reported by the New York Times, Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III said the framework agreement “paves the way” for peace and represents a major step toward ending the conflict in Mindanao, a predominantly Muslim island in the only predominantly Christian country in Asia.

In an email interview with Trend Lines, Steven Rood, the Asia Foundation’s country representative in the Philippines and an adviser in an international group that facilitated the peace talks, emphasized the importance of the government’s recognition of a new governing political entity in Mindanao, the Bangsamoro, that will provide the Muslim inhabitants with more local autonomy in exchange for ending their demands for an independent state.

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