MILF announces new panel for peace talks

16:33, September 13, 2010      

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Philippine rebel group of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) announced Monday formation of its new five-man panel for peace talks with the government as the talks may resume anytime this month.

The group's central committee retained Mohagher Iqbal as its chief negotiator. The new face in the group is Prof. Abhoud Syed Lingga, chairman of the Institute of Bangsamoro Studies, said Mohammad Ameen, the group's chief secretariat.

Also named to the panel, although as alternate member, is Datu Antonio Kinoc, a B'laan native tribe from township of Columbio in Sultan Kudarat province.

Replaced in the MILF peace panel were Atty. Lanang Ali and Atty. Musib Buat "purely for health reasons," Ameen said. "But the MILF peace panel will still seek their views and advices especially on legal issues regularly."

Like the Philippine government's peace panel, which has its consultants, the MILF also formed a board of consultants, he said.

The government has named its five peace negotiators led by lawyer Marvic Leonen of the University of the Philippines-College of Law.

The government has said that peace talks could start this month.

The MILF has been fighting government troops for decades in a bid to establish a self-rule Muslim state in the south of the predominantly Catholic country. Peace talks between the government and the MILF have stalled since August 2008 following the aborted signing of the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain.

However, efforts are being made by both sides to revive the talks. A final peace deal with the government will touch the issues of autonomy and the civil settlements of the rebel group's 11,800-strong guerrilla fighters.

Source: Xinhua

(Editor:赵晨雁)

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