Sunday, March 03, 2013

Malaysian peace monitors in PH at risk after Sabah assault

Members of Malaysian-led international monitoring team (IMT) in Mindanao are facing security risks after violence erupted in Sabah Friday, March 1, that left 12 followers of the Sultanate of Sulu and two police officers dead.

Malaysian soldiers monitoring the truce between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Philippine government were adviced by the Coordinating Committee on Cessation of Hostilities to limit their movement in the region, former MILF spokesperson Eid Kabalu said in a phone interview on Saturday, March 2.

This is to prevent sympathizers of the Sultanate of Sulu from taking advantage of the conflict, according to Kabalu, who is now working with the government as a peace consultant.

“Authorities are now beefing up the security as part of precautionary measures,” Kabalu said.

“While there is still no prior information, (members of the) Malaysian contingent were asked to limit their movement,” he added.

Peace broker

Kuala Lumpur, which brokered the peace negotiations between the government and the MILF, is leading the IMT which has been monitoring the ceasefire, socio- economic and humanitarian agreements between the government and the MILF since 2004.

On Friday, March 1, at least 12 followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram III were killed as fighting broke out in Lahad Datu. Two members of the Malaysian security forces were also killed.

In a phone call on March 1, Datu Raja Mudah, leader of Sulu Sultanate followers in Sabah, confirmed that ten of his men were also captured by Malaysian authorities. This was according to Princess Jecel Kiram, daughter of Sultan Kiram III.

Princess Jecel Kiram said his uncle, along with 214 men, is hiding in Sabah and will not leave the island.

The Sulu sultanate's power faded about a century ago but it has continued to receive nominal payments from Malaysia for Sabah under a historical lease arrangement passed down from European colonial powers. -Rappler (March 03, 2013 8:23AM)

No comments: