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Europe urges MILF, Philippine gov't to stop use of violence


09:21, October 25, 2011

MANILA, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- The European Union on Monday called on Muslim rebels to stop the use of violence that have killed 19 soldiers and several other civilians in strife-torn Mindanao last week, but rejected armed retaliation by the Philippine government.

British Ambassador Stephen Lillie expressed serious concern about the recent spate of ambushes by Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), saying the rebel group needs to reassure public and political opinion that they remain committed to the peace process.

But for this to happen, Lillie said, "the current spate of ambushes must stop."

The European Union, for its part, wants the MILF to condemn the use of violence as it joined Britain in calling for a peaceful and non-military solution to the conflict.

"We hope all sides will maintain an unwavering commitment to the cease fire and the peace process," it said in a statement.

Both the UK and the EU provide assistance in the Mindanao peace process. The UK is a member of an advisory body called the International Contact Group (ICG) and the EU is part of the International Monitoring Team (IMT), which oversees the implementation of the ceasefire agreement between the government and the MILF.

The EU said the Malaysian-led IMT should consider conducting an independent investigation of the incidents to determine whether there have been violations of the ceasefire agreement and violations of the international law and human rights.


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