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Arrest warrant to prevent Misuari attendance at OIC

Perseus Echeminada - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - A warrant of arrest issued by the Zamboanga regional trial court is preventing Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) founding chairman Nur Misuari from attending the 41st Foreign Ministers Meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia next week.

MNLF spokesman Emmanuel Fontanilla said Misuari has officially informed the OIC that he will not be attending the yearly meeting due to the legal constraints preventing him from traveling abroad.

Misuari is among those facing arrest for rebellion and other crimes over the Zamboanga siege last year that killed hundreds of people and left thousands more wounded and homeless.

Fontanilla pointed out the OIC has recognized Misuari as a permanent observer since 1995 and he occupies a seat in the 57-member Islamic assembly.

The MNLF signed a peace agreement with the Philippine government in 1996.

With the absence of Misuari, Fontanilla said the seat of MNLF in the OIC would be vacant for the second time.

He said a delegation from the rival Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and “self-proclaimed” MNLF leaders has left for the Middle East to attend the meeting.

“However, chairman Misuari has sent a letter to the OIC that he has not authorized anybody to represent the MNLF in the said meeting,” Fontanilla said.

During its annual assembly last year the OIC passed a resolution urging the Philippine government and the MNLF to continue review of the final implementation of the 1996 peace agreement.

The OIC has called on the Philippine government to synchronize the newly signed peace accord with the MILF with the MNLF’s 1996 final peace agreement.

There had been calls for the MNLF and the MILF to reunify through the efforts of the OIC.

Egyptian Ambassador Mahmoud Mostafa Ahmed Mohamed earlier confirmed the two groups would meet in Jeddah on June 19 to 20 to address a common cause for the Bangsamoro homeland.

Mahmoud said the meeting between MILF and MNLF leaders is to unify their position.

After addressing the issues, Mahmoud said a tripartite review would be held to thresh out all the issues for the final implementation of the 1996 peace agreement between the government and the MNLF.

The tripartite review was deferred last September after Misuari called for its postponement, citing the Zamboanga standoff when his forces laid siege on the city last Sept. 9 in a failed attempt to declare a Bangsamoro Republik.

Misuari’s attempt was borne out of his strong opposition to the government signing the peace deal with the MILF.

 

BANGSAMORO REPUBLIK

EGYPTIAN AMBASSADOR MAHMOUD MOSTAFA AHMED MOHAMED

EMMANUEL FONTANILLA

FONTANILLA

FOREIGN MINISTERS MEETING OF THE ORGANIZATION OF ISLAMIC COOPERATION

JEDDAH

MAHMOUD

MISUARI

MNLF

OIC

ZAMBOANGA

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