21 September, 2014 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

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





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


» 02/15/2013
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
IRAQ-VATICAN
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul": Archbishops’ thanks as first aid arrives
by Amel NonaMsgr. Amel Nona, the Chaldean Archbishop of Mosul, who is also a refugee himself, thanks all the donors to the AsiaNews campaign. The situation is increasingly difficult given the huge number of refugees and the arrival of winter and snow, making outdoor shelters and tents impossible. The crisis, an occasion that activates the faith of Christians.
ITALY - IRAQ
After raising € 350,000, 'Adopt a Christian from Mosul' campaign continues
by Bernardo CervelleraDonations raised up to 31 August have been sent to the patriarch of Baghdad and the bishops of Kurdistan. The campaign helps to feed, house, clothe, and bring comfort to more than 150,000 Christian, Yazidi, Turkmen, Shia and Sunni refugees who fled the violence of the army of the Islamic Caliphate. People in Italy and around the world have been generous, including the poor and the unemployed, a sign of hope for the world as well as those who suffer and those who give.
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.

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.