7 October 2012
Foreign Minister Bob Carr today welcomed a framework peace agreement reached between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
Senator Carr said the Philippines Government’s announcement of the agreement offered hope that the 28-year conflict in Mindanao could be drawing to a close.
“This agreement is testament to the commitment of both the Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to the concept of a peaceful settlement,” Senator Carr said.
“I particularly acknowledge the leadership of Philippines President Benigno Aquino, who has been a strong advocate for peace.”
Australia is contributing to peace and security in Mindanao through support for basic education, governance reforms and strengthening community resilience by working with local government, security forces, citizens and civil society groups on conflict resolution. The core of Australia’s aid program in conflict-affected areas is to improve the quality of and access to basic education across 3,000 schools, including Islamic pre-schools.
The MILF has been pursuing a separatist insurgency in the southern Philippines since 1984. Conflict in the southern Philippines, also involving other groups, has killed between 75,000 and 120,000 people. Peace talks between the Philippine Government and the MILF began in 1996.