How long until they demand their own muslim state?
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte signed legislation to create a Muslim Autonomous Region in the south to quell violence from Islamic State rebel groups.
Philippines presidential spokesman Harry Roque said Thursday evening that Duterte signed the bill, called the Bangsamoro organic law, bringing fruition to an autonomy deal that four successive presidents have negotiated for over 20 years.
Islamic rebel groups that have been fighting for control over the region for decades agreed to disarm as part of the deal to create the autonomous region, which will be called Bangsamoro.
The new autonomous region will replace the current five-province Muslim autonomous region, created after the 1996 peace deal between the government and the Islamic rebel group called the Moro National Liberation Front.
That autonomous region has largely been labeled a failure, as it wracked with poverty and ongoing violence between government forces and various rebel groups, some of whom are linked to ISIS.
Muslim fighting in the region has killed more than 120,000 people over the years.
Government troops supported by U.S. and Australian surveillance aircraft squared off with ISIS-linked rebels in 2017 and ultimately defeated their attempt to create a stronghold in the region in the city of Marawi, in which they took at least 40 hostages including a Catholic priest.
That conflict alone accounted for over 1,200 deaths, most of whom were Islamic militants.
Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, chairman of the Moro National Liberation Front, said Tuesday at a press conference that 30,000 to 40,000 militants would disarm in response to the signing of the bill and that the remainder of the guerrilla soldiers would disarm once...
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