Philippines govt, Muslim rebels sign historic pact

The Philippines government on Monday  struck a historic peace deal with the biggest Muslim rebel group, raising hopes of an end to four decades of insurgency in the south through a Malaysian-brokered roadmap towards greater autonomy.

The peace accord signed between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front is a major step towards achieving a settlement plan that proposes the establishment of a new autonomous Muslim-administered region.

It was signed in the presence of President Benigno Acquino, MILF Chief Murad Ebrahim and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who facilitated the negotiations, at Manila’s Malacanang presidential palace.

The Bangsamoro agreement envisages the establishment of a 15-member Transition Commission to draft a bill creating a new autonomous Muslim-administered region to be called Bangsamoro.

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