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MILF: Peace talks with PH gov’t not affected by Maguindanao clash

By: - Correspondent / @kmanlupigINQ
/ 05:16 PM January 26, 2015
Ghadzali Jaafar, MILF vice chair for political affairs.  FILE PHOTO

Ghadzali Jaafar, MILF vice chair for political affairs. FILE PHOTO

DAVAO CITY, Philippines–The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said the fighting between its members and elite police forces that left at least 27 dead, would not affect the peace process.

Ghadzali Jaafar, vice chair for political affairs of the MILF, said its peace panel and the central committee have expressed confidence that the ongoing peace negotiations with the government would not be affected by the recent clashes.

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“The talks will not be affected because the MILF has not violated any provisions of the peace negotiations,” Jaafar said.

Jaafar, however, said the Philippine National Police has definitely violated the ceasefire mechanism but this would not mean that the MILF would back off from the talks.

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“There was no coordination, meaning the PNP did not comply with the provisions of the ceasefire mechanism. This is very unfortunate. This could have not happened,” Jaafar said.

With speculations that the clashes were deliberately set up to derail the peace talks, Jaafar answered that the government and the MILF have been working together to secure the police commandos who were still inside the area of the firefight, as of Monday morning. He said this cooperation would proof that the peace process has not been affected.

“As of this time, the communication is continuing. In fact, there is a scheduled meeting in Kuala Lumpur this week to talk about the remaining issues including the normalization,” Jaafar said.

Initial information from parties in the conflict showed that SAF was not able to coordinate with the MILF, as required by the ceasefire agreement with the Philippine government, when they set out to arrest suspected terrorists Basit Usman and Zulkifli Bin Hir, hiding in the MILF area.

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TAGS: ARMM, Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, Basit Usman, BIFF, bomb makers, Ghadzali Jaafar, Jemaah Islamiyah, MILF, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Philippine National Police, Special Action Force, terror suspects, warrant of arrest, Zulkifli bin Hir
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