ISIL-linked groups want to hit Philippines' MILF talks

Turkish NGO official involved in talks between MILF and government remains hopeful about peace process

ISIL-linked groups want to hit Philippines' MILF talks

World Bulletin / News Desk

ISIL-linked terror groups want to sabotage the peace process between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in southern Philippines, according to a Turkish nongovernmental official.

Huseyin Oruc is one of three international nongovernmental members on the independent Third-Party Monitoring Team, also known as the TPMT, that is engaged in the peace process.

Oruc, who is also the vice-president of Turkey's IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation, told Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview that one needs to look into the dynamics of the region and the groups involved there to gain a better understanding of the ISIL-linked conflict in the predominantly Muslim city of Marawi.

 

- Conflict's star characters

In late May, hundreds of ISIL-inspired Maute group backed by Isnilon Hapilon of the Abu Sayyaf group had laid siege to Mindanao Island’s Marawi that paved the way for a new conflict to emerge between the group’s heavily-armed fighters and soldiers.

The fighting, which entered the 46th day on Friday, has claimed the lives of dozens of civilians and soldiers while hundreds of suspected militants have also been killed; an estimated 246,000 plus residents have also been displaced.

The Turkish NGO official called for making distinctions between the ISIL-affiliated groups in the region and the country’s largest rebel group, MILF.

"Since the beginning, MILF sought to protect rights of Muslims and establish an independent Muslim state.

“They have not been involved in any lawlessness and have continued their struggle within the frame of Islamic law. Most importantly, they have not been involved in any operation to hurt civilians," Oruc said.

According to him, "The star characters of the unrest in Philippines are the groups of Maute and Abu Sayyaf.

“Founded by siblings Omar and Abdulla Maute in 2012, the group declared loyalty to ISIL in 2015 and turned to be a key actor in the recent conflict."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 08 Temmuz 2017, 10:33
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