Monday, October 23, 2006

Peace Advocates To Lobby For Resumption Of Stalled Mindanao Peace Talks

ZAMBOANGA CITY (Darwin Wee / 23 Oct) - A consortium of peace advocates inMindanao was lobbying Manila to resume stalled peace talks with the country’s largest Muslim rebel group, Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
The Mindanao Peoples Caucus, in an e-mail sent to the Mindanao Examiner on Monday, said the group will send a mission to Manila on Wednesday to lobby to government officials that resumption of the peace negotiations.
Peace talks ended last month in Malaysia with both sides failing to sign any agreement on the most contentious issue -- ancestral domain -- which refers to the MILF's demand for territory that will constitute a Muslim homeland.
It is the single most important issue in the peace negotiations before a political settlement can be reached. The MILF has earlier rejected a government offer for a limited autonomy on Mindanao island, home to more than 18 million Muslims, Christians and indigenous tribes.
"We do not want another war. All we wish is progress in Mindanao and help in promoting peace and rebuilding our communities and present a modest set of proposals on how to break the impasse and move forward," the group said, but it did not elaborate any of its proposals on how to break the impasse in the peace talks.
The group said it would like to meet President Gloria Arroyo and politicians, including members of the diplomatic community within the three-day mission.The MPC is headed by Timual Melanio Ulama, Fr. Roberto Layson and Mary Ann Arnado, of the Mindanao Peace Weavers. (Mindanao Examiner)

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