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MILF won’t meddle in Sabah conflict

March 6, 2013

They will not make any policy statement on the Sabah conflict as Malaysia is one of the brokers on the ongoing peace talks between the Philippine government and MILF

COTABATO CITY: The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) will not issue any policy statement on the Sabah crisis, said the group’s chief peace broker Mohagher Iqbal.

“That’s a very sensitive issue. We cannot issue any statement on that. That is not even being talked about in the peace talks between the government and the MILF,” Iqbal clarified in an interview over dxMS radio in Cotabato City.

Malaysia has been acting as a third party facilitator in the ongoing peace talks between the Philippine government and the MILF.

Malaysia also leads International Monitoring Team (IMT) comprised of military men from Malaysia, Brunei, Libya, Indonesia, and non-uniformed conflict resolution experts from Norway, Japan and the European Union.

The IMT oversees the enforcement of the 1997 Agreement on General Cessation of Hostilities between the two peace panels.

Nur Misuari, a leader of one of at least three factions in the Moro National Liberation Front, which signed a peace pact with the national government on Sept. 2, 1996, has been vocal in his expressions of sympathy to the Sultanate of Sulu, whose armed supporters are engaged in an armed confrontation with Malaysian police and military forces in several spots in Sabah.

History has that Sabah (formerly called North Borneo) was given as a gift by the Sultanate of Brunei to Sultanate of Sulu in the 17th century. The Sulu sultan then leased the land to the British North Borneo Company, although the British said the land was ceded.

Malaysia continues to pay the Sulu sultanate RM5,300 – about P70,000 – annually in what Kuala Lumpur describes as “cession fee” but is considered rental by the sultanate.

- Agencies


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