Sunday, May 21, 2006
Islamic organization disappointed by Philippine government's slow implementation of peace accord with Moro front
text & photos HADER GLANG
The influential Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) on Friday expressed disappointment over the slow implementation of the 1996 peace agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
The OIC likewise urged the Philippine government to consider the immediate release of detained MNLF chairman Nur Misuari, saying that he can contribute a lot to the full implementation of the peace accord.
“The peace agreement of 1996 was not fully implemented until now. That’s why we are here,” Egyptian Ambassador Sayed Kassem El Masry, who led the 16-man OIC mission to Mindanao, told reporters in an ambush interview in Zamboanga City.
The negative observation by the OIC on the Philippines' failure to fully implement the provisions of the 1996 peace agreement could affect Manila's bid for observer status.
“Ten years have passed since the signing of the peace accord but it was not fully implemented. So we’re here to help implement the peace agreement…remove the obstacles. That’s why we are asking for a meeting of the three parties who signed the peace pact to look for ways and means to move forward,” El Masry said.
A member of the OIC’s Committee of the Eight, Bangladesh Ambassador Muhammad Abul Quashem also commented, saying that “though the peace process has gone well, there is somewhere to go to reach its full implementation.”
“We hope the implementation (of the 1996 peace agreement) and the release of Chairman Misuari will be expedited because he can contribute a lot to the full implementation of the peace accord,” Quashem said.
Misuari, who signed the peace agreement with the government on September 2, 1996, is detained in Metro Manila for rebellion charges after allegedly leading an attack against military troops in Sulu in 2001. (ZS)