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Kiram declares unilateral ceasefire in Sabah

Camille Diola, Dennis Carcamo (The Philippine Star) - March 7, 2013 - 12:52pm

MANILA, Philippines - The Sultanate of Sulu on Thursday declared a unilateral ceasefire on the hostilities in Sabah where its followers are engaged in a standoff with the Malaysian security forces.

In a statement read by the Sultan spokesman Abraham Idjirani,  Jamalul Kiram III said his decision was made after the statement of United Nations secretary general Ban Ki Moon, urging an end  to the violence in Sabah.

"The Sultan is calling for a unilateral ceasefire of the Sultanate of Sulu effective this hour, 12: 30, in order to reciprocate the call of the United Nations to preserve lives.

"His Royal Highness, Sultan Jamalul Kiram III called his brother to initiate evasive and defensive posture. This is not only to his brother but including to those who volunteered and sacrificed their lives for the cause of Sultanate of Sulu," Idjirani quoted the Sultan's statement.

"We hope Malaysia reciprocates the...call for a ceasefire," he added.

Since the outbreak of the armed hostilities, about 30 people have been killed on both the Malaysian forces and Sultan's followers sides. 

Ban Ki Moon's statement

Ban on Thursday  has called for an to end bloodshed in the region.

In a statement released by Ban's New York office, he said that he is "closely following the situation in Sabah" and on top of reports on Malaysian troops pursuing members of the royal army of the Sulu sultanate from the Philippines.

"The Secretary-General expresses concern about the impact this situation may have on the civilian population, including migrants in the region," the statement said.

Ban also said dialogue must be pursued by involved parties "for a peaceful resolution" of the three-week conflict over the clan's assertion of its territorial claim over Lahad Datu, Sabah.

The official also hoped the Malaysian and Philippine governments as well as the Kiram clan would allow international assistance into the area.

"He urges all parties to facilitate delivery of humanitarian assistance and act in full respect of international human rights norms and standards," the UN said.

 

ABRAHAM IDJIRANI BAN KI MOON HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS JAMALUL KIRAM LAHAD DATU MALAYSIAN AND PHILIPPINE NEW YORK SABAH SULTANATE OF SULU UNITED NATIONS
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