Condemns Zambo raid as ‘wrong move’
THE influential Organization of Islamic Cooperation chided Moro National Liberation Front founding chairman Nur Misuari for masterminding a three-week hostage siege in Zamboanga City in September, a diplomatic source said Sunday.
The high-level diplomat who attended the recently concluded 40th Council of Foreign Ministers in Conakry, Republic of Guinea, said OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu called for a closed-door meeting to discuss the Zamboanga attack.
“Secretary General Ihsanoglu said Misuari made a ‘wrong move’ when he resorted to violence in trying to assert his cause,” the source said in an e-mail interview from Conakry.
The siege left more than 200 people dead and displaced some 120,000 residents in Zamboanga City.
The OIC also adopted a resolution calling on its Peace Committee on the Southern Philippines “to exert their efforts in order not to allow these unfortunate events to derail the peace process.”
In the resolution, the group said the loss of innocent lives and property during the Misuari-led MNLF attack was “deplorable.”
The OIC resolution also “called upon member states and Islamic relief organizations to help generously in the efforts of relief and reconstruction operation to allow the quick return of the many thousand displaced people to their homes and to compensate the victims.”
The group, however, has yet to comment on the petition of other MNLF groups who want to have Misuari replaced as the sole representative of the Bangsamoro people before the OIC.
The petition has been officially communicated to the OIC-Peace Committee on the Southern Philippines.
The MNLF seat remained vacant throughout the meeting in Conakry even if Misuari spokesman Emmanuel Fontanilla claimed that the wanted MNLF leader was able to slip out of the Philippines to attend the OIC meeting.
The Department of Foreign Affairs cancelled Misuari’s passport in October following the issuance of a warrant of arrest against him over the Zamboanga attack.
The OIC earlier expressed its full support to the peace talks between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front even as it called for an “integration” of the MILF and MNLF peace processes.
In a separate resolution, the OIC tasked Ihsanoglu to “exert his efforts to find common grounds between the parties to the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (MILF) and the 1996 Agreement on the implementation of the 1976 Peace Agreement (MNLF).”
The OIC also urged Ihsanoglu to “develop a mechanism to ensure that the gains of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement are preserved and the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro and its annexes are fully implemented with the end goal of integrating the gains achieved in these peace agreements in the Bangsamoro Basic Law.”
The government and the MILF have already concluded three of the four remaining annexes - on power-sharing, wealth-sharing, and transitional arrangements—that will form part of the comprehensive peace agreement that both sides wish to conclude in January.
Both panels expect to sign the remaining annex normalization (or the demobilization, disarmament and reintegration of MILF fighters) as well as an addendum on the Bangsamoro waters next month.
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