The Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) today signed a final security agreement that paves the way for a comprehensive peace accord on the island of Mindanao, a move welcomed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
In a statement from his spokesperson, Mr. Ban congratulated the negotiating teams of the Government and the MILF for “their perseverance, courage and commitment in having reached this important milestone in the peace process”.
He also commended President Benigno S. Aquino III and the MILF chairman, Murad Ebrahim, for their “vision and leadership throughout this historic peace process”.
The MILF has been fighting for decades for an independent Islamic state in the southern Philippines to be named Bangsamoro.
The sides today signed in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur the last of the four Annexes to the “Government of the Philippines-Moro Islamic Liberation Front Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro” of 2012.
These security annexes are the final agreements needed for a final Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
Mr. Ban acknowledged Malaysia's role as negotiator in the talks, today expressing “his sincere gratitude” to that Government, as well as the national and international actors who had a role in the process.
“The Secretary-General expresses the readiness of the United Nations to accompany the final phase of the peace process and the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, as the parties may find appropriate,” the spokesperson added.
That agreement is to be signed in the Philippine capital, Manila, possibly next month, according to media reports.