Philippines, Muslim rebels relaunch peace talks

Kuala Lumpur—The Philippines on Saturday restarted peace talks with the country’s largest Muslim rebel group, the first under President Rodrigo Duterte aimed at ending decades of violence that has claimed tens of thousands of lives.
Negotiators for the two sides said the weekend talks in Malaysia would discuss details of Duterte’s peace road map. “They will discuss the road map to clarify certain issues.
The 12,000-strong Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) has waged a bloody insurgency in the mainly Muslim southern Philippines since the 1970s but an accord signed in 2014 had raised hopes of a lasting peace.
Dureza described the relaunching of the talks in Malaysia, the first formal sit-down between the two sides since Duterte took office, as a “big milestone for peace in Mindanao”.
MILF chief Murad Ebrahim said he welcomed fellow Muslim rebel Nur Misuari, chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), to join the transition commission to establish the “Bangsamoro” autonomous region in the south.—Agencies

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