Talk to Al Jazeera with Nur Misuari: We had to fight for it

The former Moro National Liberation Front leader discusses the crisis in Sabah and peace in the southern Philippines – Watch this video, 25.00 min, published on AlJazeera, March 17, 2013.

A new crisis in southern Philippines is underway – it is a conflict with Malaysia over a province called Sabah. Armed Filipino men are challenging the Malaysian government’s power over the province, claiming that this land belongs to the Sultan of Sulu who lives in the Philippines. But the implications here could be severe for the region.  

At stake could be the peace deal between the government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s (MILF) leader Ibrahim Murad. The deal was designed to bring peace to Mindanao and allow the fighters there to build a semi-autonomous Islamic state, to be called Bangsamoro.

The party that brokered the deal was Malaysia. Its Muslim-dominated government used its influence with the Islamic fighters in Mindanao to bring the parties together. But now, there are allegations that members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), the original Islamic insurgency group, feels sidetracked and has allowed some of its men to fight the Malaysian government presence in Sabah.

Which brings us back to where the conflict in Mindanao started -  it is in places like this that the resistance against what they call Philippine colonialism was nursed.

The fighters would hide in the Muslim ghettos with sympathisers and in turn bring soldiers into the alleyways hungry for revenge. Every family speaks of those years with an overriding sense of loss.

The man who started it all back in the 1970s was Nur Misuari. With international backing he negotiated a separate deal with the government in the 1990s, but he never managed to reach the success MILF reached after splitting with his group … //

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Related Links:

more talks on AlJazeera;

Nur Misuari;

Moro National Liberation Front … is a political organization that was founded by Nur Misuari in 1969.[1] The MNLF struggled against the Philippine Government (GPH) to achieve independence [2] of the Bangsamoro Land …;

Peace process with the Bangsamoro in the Philippines;

Conflict in Mindanao, on AlJazeera, October 15, 2012;

Moro Islamic Liberation Front … is a Muslim rebel group located in the southern Philippines;

Islamic Insurgency in the Philippines

The Philippines, and its topographic map.

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