Showing posts tagged as "bryony lau"

Showing posts tagged bryony lau

11 Feb
Filipino extremists face new foe: fellow rebels | AP
By Jim Gomez
After years of fighting the government from hidden jungle bases in the southern Philippines, an Al-Qaida-linked militant group is facing a new adversary: fellow Muslim insurgents who can match their guerrilla battle tactics and are eager to regain their lost stature by fighting the widely condemned terrorist group.
The emerging enmity between the Abu Sayyaf militants and the Moro rebels could bolster a decade-long campaign by the Philippines and Western countries to isolate the al-Qaida offshoot Abu Sayyaf, which remains one of the most dangerous groups in Southeast Asia.
FULL ARTICLE (AP)
Photo: Prachatai/Flickr

Filipino extremists face new foe: fellow rebels | AP

By Jim Gomez

After years of fighting the government from hidden jungle bases in the southern Philippines, an Al-Qaida-linked militant group is facing a new adversary: fellow Muslim insurgents who can match their guerrilla battle tactics and are eager to regain their lost stature by fighting the widely condemned terrorist group.

The emerging enmity between the Abu Sayyaf militants and the Moro rebels could bolster a decade-long campaign by the Philippines and Western countries to isolate the al-Qaida offshoot Abu Sayyaf, which remains one of the most dangerous groups in Southeast Asia.

FULL ARTICLE (AP)

Photo: Prachatai/Flickr

7 Dec
Talks With Philippines’ Largest Muslim Insurgent Group To Be Crucial | Albany Tribune 
The next round of talks between the Philippines’ largest Muslim insurgent group and the government is a crucial step towards implementing a sweeping peace agreement signed in October.
The Philippines: Breakthrough in Mindanao, the latest report from the International Crisis Group, examines how the pact signed by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the government of President Benigno Aquino III on 15 October 2012 is a breakthrough in many ways, but is far from a final peace. As with earlier texts reached during years of negotiations, this one – the “framework agreement” – defers several tough questions. At stake is the creation of a genuinely autonomous region in Muslim-majority Mindanao and the adjacent Sulu archipelago for the various ethnic groups collectively known as the Bangsamoro, with more powers, more territory and more control over resources.
FULL ARTICLE (The Albany Times)
Photo: Mark Navales/Wikimedia Commons 

Talks With Philippines’ Largest Muslim Insurgent Group To Be Crucial | Albany Tribune 

The next round of talks between the Philippines’ largest Muslim insurgent group and the government is a crucial step towards implementing a sweeping peace agreement signed in October.

The Philippines: Breakthrough in Mindanao, the latest report from the International Crisis Group, examines how the pact signed by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the government of President Benigno Aquino III on 15 October 2012 is a breakthrough in many ways, but is far from a final peace. As with earlier texts reached during years of negotiations, this one – the “framework agreement” – defers several tough questions. At stake is the creation of a genuinely autonomous region in Muslim-majority Mindanao and the adjacent Sulu archipelago for the various ethnic groups collectively known as the Bangsamoro, with more powers, more territory and more control over resources.

FULL ARTICLE (The Albany Times)

Photo: Mark Navales/Wikimedia Commons 

6 Dec
Peace pact with MILF faces ‘huge obstacles’ - ICG | Rappler
MANILA, Philippines - The Framework Agreement signed between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is a breakthrough but still “far from a final peace,” according to the International Crisis Group (ICG).
In its latest report The Philippines: Breakthrough in Mindanao released on Wednesday, December 5, the Brussels-based think tank said that the agreement “defers several tough questions” regarding the creation of a truly autonomous region for the Bangsamoro in Mindanao, especially policing and taxation.
Once these conclude, the report stated, the hard part of implementation will begin, and that is when the process must not stall if the MILF leadership is to continue enjoying popular support and control over its commanders.
FULL REPORT (Rappler)
Photo: Maerks/Flickr

Peace pact with MILF faces ‘huge obstacles’ - ICG | Rappler

MANILA, Philippines - The Framework Agreement signed between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) is a breakthrough but still “far from a final peace,” according to the International Crisis Group (ICG).

In its latest report The Philippines: Breakthrough in Mindanao released on Wednesday, December 5, the Brussels-based think tank said that the agreement “defers several tough questions” regarding the creation of a truly autonomous region for the Bangsamoro in Mindanao, especially policing and taxation.

Once these conclude, the report stated, the hard part of implementation will begin, and that is when the process must not stall if the MILF leadership is to continue enjoying popular support and control over its commanders.

FULL REPORT (Rappler)

Photo: Maerks/Flickr

5 Dec
The Philippines: Breakthrough in Mindanao
Jakarta/Brussels  |   5 Dec 2012
The next round of talks between the Philippines’ largest Muslim insurgent group and the government is a crucial step towards implementing a sweeping peace agreement signed in October.
The Philippines: Breakthrough in Mindanao, the latest report from the International Crisis Group, examines how the pact signed by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the government of President Benigno Aquino III on 15 October 2012 is a breakthrough in many ways, but is far from a final peace. As with earlier texts reached during years of negotiations, this one – the “framework agreement” – defers several tough questions. At stake is the creation of a genuinely autonomous region in Muslim-majority Mindanao and the adjacent Sulu archipelago for the various ethnic groups collectively known as the Bangsamoro, with more powers, more territory and more control over resources.
“For years, it looked like the government and the MILF were never going to agree on the terms of a final peace”, says Bryony Lau, Crisis Group’s South East Asia Senior Analyst. “The framework agreement is still only a preliminary sketch, but it is Mindanao’s best chance yet”.
The pact envisions a new government for the troubled Muslim south that would raise its own revenues and have its own police and judiciary. It maps out a multi-step process to create this new entity by the time President Aquino’s term ends in 2016. The obstacles ahead are huge. Politics in Mindanao or Manila could get in the way, and it may be impossible to devolve sufficient power to the Bangsamoro government without running afoul of the constitution. The 12,000-strong MILF is unlikely to surrender its arms until the process is complete.
Peace talks began in 1997. They have moved glacially ever since and were interrupted three times by serious fighting. The breakdown in 2008 had damaging political implications because it hardened the positions of all stakeholders on critical elements of a final peace. At that time, the MILF and the government were ready to sign a similarly ambitious agreement. But it collapsed under pressure from other, more powerful interests, and a Supreme Court ruling declared the terms unconstitutional. The controversy centred on provisions outlining the territory of a new Bangsamoro homeland, which were highly favourable to the MILF. It was difficult to get the peace process back on track afterwards.
The framework agreement is remarkable for two reasons. First, the negotiators devised a different formula for determining which areas would be under a new Bangsamoro government. The process envisioned is risky for the MILF, but is politically and constitutionally watertight in the eyes of the Aquino administration. It guarantees all Bangsamoro a chance to decide whether they accept the terms of a final peace. Second, the pact makes it clear that the current, deeply dysfunctional autonomous region will at last be replaced, raising hopes of better governance in the poorest area of the Philippines.
Negotiations are continuing on tricky issues such as policing and taxation. Once these conclude, the hard part – implementation – will begin. If the process stalls at any stage, it may be difficult for the MILF leadership to control its commanders and retain popular support.
“The framework agreement is a triumph for both sides”, says Jim Della-Giacoma, Crisis Group’s South East Asia Project Director. “We’ve had a breakthrough because government negotiators came to the table with creative ideas, and their MILF counterparts responded by being flexible and pragmatic”.
FULL REPORT

The Philippines: Breakthrough in Mindanao

Jakarta/Brussels  |   5 Dec 2012

The next round of talks between the Philippines’ largest Muslim insurgent group and the government is a crucial step towards implementing a sweeping peace agreement signed in October.

The Philippines: Breakthrough in Mindanao, the latest report from the International Crisis Group, examines how the pact signed by the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the government of President Benigno Aquino III on 15 October 2012 is a breakthrough in many ways, but is far from a final peace. As with earlier texts reached during years of negotiations, this one – the “framework agreement” – defers several tough questions. At stake is the creation of a genuinely autonomous region in Muslim-majority Mindanao and the adjacent Sulu archipelago for the various ethnic groups collectively known as the Bangsamoro, with more powers, more territory and more control over resources.

“For years, it looked like the government and the MILF were never going to agree on the terms of a final peace”, says Bryony Lau, Crisis Group’s South East Asia Senior Analyst. “The framework agreement is still only a preliminary sketch, but it is Mindanao’s best chance yet”.

The pact envisions a new government for the troubled Muslim south that would raise its own revenues and have its own police and judiciary. It maps out a multi-step process to create this new entity by the time President Aquino’s term ends in 2016. The obstacles ahead are huge. Politics in Mindanao or Manila could get in the way, and it may be impossible to devolve sufficient power to the Bangsamoro government without running afoul of the constitution. The 12,000-strong MILF is unlikely to surrender its arms until the process is complete.

Peace talks began in 1997. They have moved glacially ever since and were interrupted three times by serious fighting. The breakdown in 2008 had damaging political implications because it hardened the positions of all stakeholders on critical elements of a final peace. At that time, the MILF and the government were ready to sign a similarly ambitious agreement. But it collapsed under pressure from other, more powerful interests, and a Supreme Court ruling declared the terms unconstitutional. The controversy centred on provisions outlining the territory of a new Bangsamoro homeland, which were highly favourable to the MILF. It was difficult to get the peace process back on track afterwards.

The framework agreement is remarkable for two reasons. First, the negotiators devised a different formula for determining which areas would be under a new Bangsamoro government. The process envisioned is risky for the MILF, but is politically and constitutionally watertight in the eyes of the Aquino administration. It guarantees all Bangsamoro a chance to decide whether they accept the terms of a final peace. Second, the pact makes it clear that the current, deeply dysfunctional autonomous region will at last be replaced, raising hopes of better governance in the poorest area of the Philippines.

Negotiations are continuing on tricky issues such as policing and taxation. Once these conclude, the hard part – implementation – will begin. If the process stalls at any stage, it may be difficult for the MILF leadership to control its commanders and retain popular support.

“The framework agreement is a triumph for both sides”, says Jim Della-Giacoma, Crisis Group’s South East Asia Project Director. “We’ve had a breakthrough because government negotiators came to the table with creative ideas, and their MILF counterparts responded by being flexible and pragmatic”.

FULL REPORT

16 Oct
Emerging peace deal in Philippines could turn rebel lairs into hostile ground for terrorists | AP via Fox News
MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Hunted by U.S.-backed Filipino troops in 2005, Abu Sayyaf chieftain Khadaffy Janjalani and other al-Qaida-linked militants sought refuge in the mountainous stronghold of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the largest Muslim rebel group in the southern Philippines.
But the rebels turned them away, afraid that harboring extremists would scuttle their peace talks with the government. The following year, Janjalani — among the most-wanted terrorist suspects in Southeast Asia — was killed by troops in another jungle area.
FULL ARTICLE (Fox News)
Photo: Keith Bacongco/Flickr

Emerging peace deal in Philippines could turn rebel lairs into hostile ground for terrorists | AP via Fox News

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Hunted by U.S.-backed Filipino troops in 2005, Abu Sayyaf chieftain Khadaffy Janjalani and other al-Qaida-linked militants sought refuge in the mountainous stronghold of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the largest Muslim rebel group in the southern Philippines.

But the rebels turned them away, afraid that harboring extremists would scuttle their peace talks with the government. The following year, Janjalani — among the most-wanted terrorist suspects in Southeast Asia — was killed by troops in another jungle area.

FULL ARTICLE (Fox News)

Photo: Keith Bacongco/Flickr

15 Oct
South Philippines Best Chance for Peace? | The Diplomat 
By Bryony Lau
For the first time in years, a good news story has come out of the southern Philippines. Earlier today the largest Muslim insurgent organization, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), signed a deal with President Benigno Aquino’s government. The “framework agreement” has been hailed as creating a roadmap to end the decades-long war waged by Muslim insurgents.
But it potentially could do even more. If successful – a very big if — it will overhaul a dysfunctional system of governance that empowers despotic warlords and permits criminals and extremists to wreak havoc in the Philippines and beyond. It is not only the best chance for peace with the MILF, but also the first time the government has agreed to give genuine autonomy an opportunity to work.
FULL ARTICLE (The Diplomat)
Photo: Mark Navales/Flickr 

South Philippines Best Chance for Peace? | The Diplomat 

By Bryony Lau

For the first time in years, a good news story has come out of the southern Philippines. Earlier today the largest Muslim insurgent organization, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), signed a deal with President Benigno Aquino’s government. The “framework agreement” has been hailed as creating a roadmap to end the decades-long war waged by Muslim insurgents.

But it potentially could do even more. If successful – a very big if — it will overhaul a dysfunctional system of governance that empowers despotic warlords and permits criminals and extremists to wreak havoc in the Philippines and beyond. It is not only the best chance for peace with the MILF, but also the first time the government has agreed to give genuine autonomy an opportunity to work.

FULL ARTICLE (The Diplomat)

Photo: Mark Navales/Flickr 

24 Sep
Philippines close to landmark peace deal in rebel south | Reuters
By Manuel Mogato and Stuart Grudgings
The Philippine government and Muslim rebels are closing in on a peace deal after nearly 15 years of violence-interrupted talks, a potential landmark success for President Benigno Aquino that could pave the way for more investment in the country’s impoverished but resource-rich south.
Negotiators from both sides told Reuters that the major obstacles to a framework deal being signed this year appear to have been surmounted after a period of intense diplomacy.
FULL ARTICLE (Reuters)
Photo: moyerphotos/Flickr

Philippines close to landmark peace deal in rebel south | Reuters

By Manuel Mogato and Stuart Grudgings

The Philippine government and Muslim rebels are closing in on a peace deal after nearly 15 years of violence-interrupted talks, a potential landmark success for President Benigno Aquino that could pave the way for more investment in the country’s impoverished but resource-rich south.

Negotiators from both sides told Reuters that the major obstacles to a framework deal being signed this year appear to have been surmounted after a period of intense diplomacy.

FULL ARTICLE (Reuters)

Photo: moyerphotos/Flickr

19 Sep
Philippines, Muslim rebels drafting initial accord, but guerrillas won’t disarm immediately | Washington Post
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine government and Muslim guerrilla negotiators are drafting a preliminary agreement to settle a decades-long rebellion in the country’s south, but the insurgents said Tuesday their insurrection won’t end until a final pact is concluded.
FULL ARTICLE (AP via Washington Post)
Credit: U.S. Navy/Flickr

Philippines, Muslim rebels drafting initial accord, but guerrillas won’t disarm immediately | Washington Post

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine government and Muslim guerrilla negotiators are drafting a preliminary agreement to settle a decades-long rebellion in the country’s south, but the insurgents said Tuesday their insurrection won’t end until a final pact is concluded.

FULL ARTICLE (AP via Washington Post)

Credit: U.S. Navy/Flickr

7 Aug
Party Politics in Muslim Mindanao  |  Crisis Group Blog
By BRYONY LAU
Elections in the Philippines are hotly contested throughout the country, and nowhere is this more true than in the restive Muslim south. Buried amid extensive press coverage of President Aquino’s third state of the nation address in mid-July was news that the provincial governors and lower level officials within the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) have joined the governing Liberal Party.  In and of itself, this means little, as the party system in the Philippines is very weak; it is powerful families that dominate the country’s political landscape. Yet, with candidate registration for the May 2013 polls beginning in October, the move towards the Liberal Party suggests some interesting dynamics among the region’s clans.
FULL BLOG 
Photo: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Flickr

Party Politics in Muslim Mindanao  |  Crisis Group Blog

By BRYONY LAU

Elections in the Philippines are hotly contested throughout the country, and nowhere is this more true than in the restive Muslim south. Buried amid extensive press coverage of President Aquino’s third state of the nation address in mid-July was news that the provincial governors and lower level officials within the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) have joined the governing Liberal Party.  In and of itself, this means little, as the party system in the Philippines is very weak; it is powerful families that dominate the country’s political landscape. Yet, with candidate registration for the May 2013 polls beginning in October, the move towards the Liberal Party suggests some interesting dynamics among the region’s clans.

FULL BLOG 

Photo: Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff/Flickr

1 Aug
Analysis - ASEAN path to economic union muddied by South China Sea  |  Swissinfo.ch
JAKARTA (Reuters) - Discord in Southeast Asia over how to deal with Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea comes as the region struggles to overcome competing national interests and form a European Union-style economic community by 2015.
FULL ARTICLE (Swissinfo.ch)
Photo: Gunawan Kartapranata/Wikimedia Commons

Analysis - ASEAN path to economic union muddied by South China Sea  |  Swissinfo.ch

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Discord in Southeast Asia over how to deal with Beijing’s claims in the South China Sea comes as the region struggles to overcome competing national interests and form a European Union-style economic community by 2015.

FULL ARTICLE (Swissinfo.ch)

Photo: Gunawan Kartapranata/Wikimedia Commons