» 11/11/2008, 00.00
PHILIPPINES - VATICAN
Pope prays for Mindanao's Muslims
The Philippine Council for Islam and Democracy had asked for help in bringing an end to the humanitarian crisis in Mindanao, and in reviving talks between pro-independence Muslims and the government of Manila. Amina Rasul-Bernardo, the only Muslim woman to participate in the Christian-Islamic forum at the beginning of November, has written an account on her meeting with the pope: "He told me that he will pray for us."
Thousands of troops to supervise elections in Mindanao
There are fears of violence, electoral fraud and Islamic terrorism. Ten suicide bombers from Indonesia might be in the country. Catholic sources warn that no one will be able to vote freely because electoral corruption is too ingrainedÂ—many will abstain.
Philippines, foreign affairs undersecretary appointed to dialogue with MILF
Rafael Seguis, with a long diplomatic career behind him, will be in charge of resuming peace negotiations with the rebels of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. Relations were broken off last September 3, following the failure to sign the Memorandum of Agreement. During the week for peace in Mindanao, Christian and Muslim leaders are visiting churches and mosques.
Philippines: Arroyo scraps peace agreement and excludes MILF from negotiating table
It's a definitive split between the government and rebel groups of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, responsible for the recent wave of violence in Mindanao. There are almost half a million refugees on the island. The appeal of the Catholic Church, which, together with the Muslims, wants "true peace" for the country.
Mindanao, more than 46,000 displaced in war between army and MILF
According to the Philippine National Red Cross, 11,734 families have had to abandon their homes and property, destroyed in fighting between the army and rebels of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. The displaced are being welcomed in refugee camps, while reconstruction work begins. In Jolo, a bishops-ulemas summit despite threats from Abu Sayyaf.
Jailed Jolo Muslim rebel leader to be set free
Moro National Liberation Front leader Nur Misuari will be freed on health grounds. Rebel leader throws his support behind Filipino President Arroyo and is in favour of US troop presence in Jolo.
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