Philippines Signs Framework Peace Agreement with Muslim Rebels

The Philippines signed today a framework agreement with Muslim rebels that seeks to end four decades of insurgency in the southern island of Mindanao.

Philippine President Benigno Aquino and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak witnessed the signing of the accord, which will create a political entity called Bangsamoro, at the presidential palace in Manila.

The new Muslim region will replace a failed autonomous region in the south set up in 1989 and binds the Moro Islamic Liberation Front or MILF to lay down their arms and abandon their pursuit of a separate Muslim state.

The talks with the MILF, which took place in Malaysia, call for a 15-member committee to draft a new law that will need to be passed by Congress and approved in a local referendum.

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