16 April, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter





mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 02/15/2013 15:41
MALAYSIA - PHILIPPINES
Borneo: Kuala Lumpur against 200 Filipino Muslim militants holed up in village
Calling itself the 'Sulu Royal Army', the group of armed fighters from Mindanao (Philippines) is apparently protecting a Muslim leader in the Malaysian state of Sabah on Borneo Island, which is also home to a sizeable Christian minority. The authorities fear that Abu Sayyaf terrorists might be among the group. The terror group is held responsible for a number of abductions and attacks in Malaysia.

Manila (AsiaNews) - Conflict between Muslim factions in predominantly Muslim Mindanao is affecting Malaysia, where the authorities recently reported the presence of some 200 Filipino Muslim militants in the state of Sabah (Borneo Island), which is also home to a sizeable Christian community.

According to Indonesia's Interior Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, the group has been holed up in a small village on Sabah's east coast. To avoid bloodshed, "Security forces are [. . .] negotiating with them, some of whom are armed," he said.

Unknown until now, the group that calls itself the 'Sulu Royal Army' has been added to the list of armed Muslim groups active on Borneo and in the Philippines.

Their number has been rising since the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Filipino authorities reached a peace agreement. MILF is the major Islamic movement in the country, and the peace deal it has inked calls for its disarmament, something that has left a leadership vacuum in the region.

At present, it is still unclear whether members of terror group Abu Sayyaf are among the Filipino militants in the Malaysian village. Sulu (Mindanao) is the former's stronghold and is not far from Malaysian territorial waters.

Filipino authorities have not excluded that possibility and in recent days deployed a number of Navy vessels along its maritime borders. MILF troops are also in the area.

In 2000, Muslims extremists abducted 21 Western tourists in Sipadan (Lahad Datu, Malaysia). The incident ended after months of negotiations between Malaysia, the Philippines and the kidnappers.

Sources told AsiaNews that the Sulu Royal Army is "one of many private armies hired by local Muslim leaders who have close ties to Filipino rebels."

In recent years, the waters that separate the Philippines from Malaysia have become a major conduit for weapons, drugs and people.

Historically, Malaysian Muslim leaders have been allied to Filipino rebels whose goal is to re-establish the pre-colonial Sultanate of Sulu.

Malaysian authorities warn that the arrival of people from Mindanao has heightened tensions in Sabah, home to a sizeable Christian minority, whose members now fear discrimination and abuses at the hands of Muslims. (S.C.)


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
01/16/2009 PHILIPPINES
MILF condemns humanitarian workers abduction as no one claims responsibility
09/23/2008 PHILIPPINES
Mindanao: 500,000 people without food because of the war
by Santosh Digal
08/08/2005 PHILIPPINES
Thousands of troops to supervise elections in Mindanao
08/04/2008 PHILIPPINES
Supreme Court blocks peace deal between MILF and government
by Santosh Digal
01/24/2006 PHILIPPINES
Jailed Jolo Muslim rebel leader to be set free

Editor's choices
SYRIA
I will miss you Fr Frans, you inspired us all, says Syrian Jesuit
by Tony Homsy*A young priest from the Society of Jesus remembers the life and work of Fr Frans van der Lugt, who was killed in Homs after he refused to abandon residents beleaguered by hunger and war. "He gave and continues to give everything for the Church, Syria, and peace. His story and qualities made him an exceptional missionary and witness to the Gospel." Reprinted courtesy of 'The Jesuit Post'.
FRANCE - IRAQ
Chaldean Patriarch on the uncertain future of eastern Christians, a bridge between the West and Islam
by Mar Louis Raphael I SakoThe wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan have made things worse for their peoples, especially minorities. As Western policies have been a failure, fundamentalism has grown with the Arab Spring losing out to extremism. Muslim authorities have a role in protecting rights and religious freedom. The presence of Christians in the Middle East is crucial for Muslims.
CHINA - EUROPEAN UNION
Xi Jinping returns home full of deals and silence
by Bernardo CervelleraThe Chinese president signed agreements worth tens of billions of Euros in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. He also stayed clear of any press conference. At the College of Europe in Bruges, he presented his dream of a new trillion-dollar Silk Road. Yet, he also made it clear that at home, the monopoly of power stays with the Party, squashing any dream for political reform in China. On the Internet, netizens disagree with him.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.