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OIC rejects Bangsamoro peace accord

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation ruled as unacceptable the   Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro signed by the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front because it failed to incorporate the Tripoli and Jakarta agreements brokered by the Moro National Liberation Front led by its founding chairman Nur Misuari.

The OIC instead proposed a linkage of the government’s peace pacts with the MILF and the MNLF.

“The support of the rapprochement on both fronts and legal follow up of the implementation of the new agreement and the compliance of the Philippine government to its text and soul is unavoidable if we want Bangsamoro Muslim people in the Philippines to obtain their most basic rights,” OIC secretary-general Iyad Ameen Madani said at the 41st Session of The Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers Session of Exploring Areas of Islamic Cooperation held in

Saudi Arabia on June 18.

He said that there was a need to do this because “all factions” of the MNLF opposed the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) and the declared texts of the new pact “do not mention or build explicitly” on the Tripoli and Jakarta Agreements of 1976 and 1997 with the MNLF.

“Being the two conventions which established the position of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation towards that conflict - the General Secretariat has spared no effort to bring the two fronts together,” he said.             

The MILF negotiating panel led by Mohaqer Iqbal attended the conference in Saudi Arabia to personally seek recognition of the CAB from the OIC.

MNLF Spokesman Absalom Cerveza said that aside from the MNLF panel, a faction of the MNLF were also present during the conference. Cerveza said both groups held separate meetings with Madani.

The MNLF side was represented by the Council of 15 led by former Cotabato City Mayor Muslimin Sema, the government’s recognized MNLF under Chairman Datu Adul Khayr Alonto, Jimmy Labawan, the Bagdadi group from the Zamboanga Peninsula Independent Movement and several others.

Cerveza claimed to have no knowledge of who from the OIC invited the MILF panel at the conference, but said that the Nur Misuari faction of the MNLF was invited to attend the event by Madani himself.

But the OIC, according to Cerveza, did not recognize the government’s MNLF faction after it discovered that it did not have the imprimatur of Misuari, prompting the government’s MNLF faction to walk out of the conference after the meeting with Madani.

“What I learned is that the OIC turned down the MILF’s plea for the OIC to recognize CAB because the OIC wants the synchronization of the MILF and MNLF agreements into one agreement,” Cerveza said.

Cerveza said Iqbal, in a recent International Peace Dialogue sponsored by the Cotabato City Diocese, had refused the synchronization efforts by the OIC since the former claimed that the two agreement “will never meet.”

Cerveza also alleged that the government was pressuring the OIC to recognize the CAB.

Last year, when the MILF was crafting a peace pact with the government, the OIC issued a resolution asking the Aquino administration to implement the MNLF Final Peace Agreement of 1996.

Cerveza said, however, that the OIC wanted “a reunification since the OIC recognizes the sole legitimate leadership of Misuari.”

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