MILF to file protest vs military over encroachment into their territory | Inquirer News

MILF to file protest vs military over encroachment into their territory

/ 08:17 PM March 04, 2022
The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the former rebel group who signed a peace deal with the government and now leads the Bangsamoro, will file a protest against the government for alleged violation of their existing ceasefire agreement following military’s bomb runs in their territory in Maguing town, Lanao del Sur early this week.

Map of Lanao del Sur. INQUIRER.net

DAVAO CITY — The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the former rebel group who signed a peace deal with the government and now leads the Bangsamoro, will file a protest against the government for alleged violation of their existing ceasefire agreement following military’s bomb runs in their territory in Maguing town, Lanao del Sur early this week.

Lawyer Naguib Sinarimbo, spokesperson of Bangsamoro Interim Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim, made this comment after the military insisted the target of military operations in Barangay Ilalag, Maguing town were members of the Islamic State (IS)-linked Daulah Islamiyah and remnants of the Maute group. Sinarimbo also refuted the military’s claim that the camp raided by troopers was not within the territory of the MILF.

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“Based on the investigation of our ceasefire team, soldiers accidentally encroached on the camp of the MILF, that’s why a misencounter happened,” said Sinarimbo, the Interior Minister and spokesperson of the MILF-led Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (Barmm).

Ebrahim released a statement on Wednesday claiming the area targeted by military air assault in Maguing, Lanao del Sur was not a “haven of terrorists,” as the military claimed, but a territory of the MILF.

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Being an MLF territory, the area recently subjected to aerial bombardment was covered by the agreement between the government and the former rebel group.

The military claimed the air assault that left seven militants and a soldier dead since it started on March 2 targeted Abu Zacharia, also known as Jer Mimbantas and Faharudin Hadji Satar, who is believed to be the newly designated Islamic State emir for Southeast Asia.

Zacharia, a nephew of the late Alim Abdul Aziz Mimbantas, was part of the Maute group that seized Marawi in 2017 but managed to escape. Mimbantas was a former ranking leader of the MILF in Lanao, the military claimed.

“The camp has been existing for a long time even before the road opening in the area,” Sinarimbo said, referring to the MILF’s claim. “The area where the encounter transpired is an MILF camp,” he added.

He said the MILF would file a protest anytime because of the violation.

“But the most important thing is to disengage,” he said. “There is already a ceasefire. Then, we will find out what happened.”

“Daulah Islamiyah” which means “Islamic State” in the local language, has a membership that comprises fighters from several Filipino militant factions, including the Maute Group, which provided men and logistics during the five-month siege of Marawi City in 2017.

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TAGS: AFP, Bangsamoro, BARMM, Military, Mindanao
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