Philippines in peace deal with rebels

The Philippine government and Muslim rebels agreed a deal to end a 40-year conflict that has killed more than 120,000 people, President Benigno Aquino said, paving the way for a political and economic revival of the country’s troubled south.

The agreement begins a roadmap to create a new autonomous region in the south of the mainly Roman Catholic country before the end of Aquino’s term in 2016, giving the Muslim-dominated area greater political powers and more control over resources.

Expectations are high that after nearly 15 years of violence-interrupted talks, both the government and rebel group will keep their pledges in the agreement.

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