Philippine rebels declare cease-fire to heed UN chief's call

Philippine rebels declare cease-fire to heed UN chief's call

Philippine rebels declare cease-fire to heed UN chief's call

0
Get started on your Homeland Security Degree at American Military University.

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Communist guerrillas in the Philippines said Wednesday they would observe a cease-fire in compliance with the U.N. chief’s call for a global halt in armed clashes during the coronavirus pandemic.

New People’s Army guerrillas have been ordered to stop assaults and shift to a defensive position from Thursday to April 15, the Communist Party of the Philippines said in a statement.

The rebels said the cease-fire is a “direct response to the call of U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for a global cease-efire between warring parties for the common purpose of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Guterres issued the call on Monday, saying, “It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives.”

The communist insurgency has raged mostly in the Philippine countryside for more than half a century in one of Asia’s longest-running rebellions. The military estimates about 3,500 armed guerrillas remain after battle setbacks, infighting and surrenders have reduced their forces in decades of fighting although the rebels claim they have more fighters.

The rebels said their cease-fire is unrelated to a similar move by the military and police but that it could possibly foster preliminary talks to resume long-stalled negotiations.

President Rodrigo Duterte declared a unilateral cease-fire with communist guerrillas last week to focus on fighting the coronavirus outbreak that prompted him to place the northern third of the country under a strict quarantine. The rebels are active in the northern region, home to more than 50 million people.

Sidney Jones, a Jakarta-based analyst with the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, said the fight against the global pandemic offers a rare common cause for governments and insurgents.

Jones cited how the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami helped bring about a 2005 peace deal between rebels and the government in Indonesia’s Aceh province “when both sides realized it was more important to rebuild than to keep fighting.”

If governments and insurgents heed the U.N. chief’s call, that would bring “some relief to vulnerable communities and maybe a brief moment, even in the midst of a pandemic, to consider what life without violence would be like,” she told The Associated Press.

Duterte launched peace talks with the rebels when he took office in mid-2016. But the negotiations, brokered by the Netherlands, eventually bogged down with both sides accusing the other of continuing to carry out attacks.

Although he has often lashed out at the rebels, Duterte has repeatedly signaled he is open to resuming negotiations with them. In December, he sent an envoy to meet self-exiled communist rebel leaders in Europe to discuss the prospects of resuming talks.

 

This article was written by JIM GOMEZ from The Associated Press and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Comments

comments

Learn From The Leader

American Military University (AMU) is proud to be the #1 provider of higher education to the U.S. military, based on FY 2018 DoD tuition assistance data, as reported by Military Times, 2019. At AMU, you’ll find instructors who are former leaders in the military, national security, and the public sector who bring their field-tested skills and strategies into the online classroom. And we work to keep our curriculum and content relevant to help you stay ahead of industry trends. Join the 64,000 U.S. military men and women earning degrees at American Military University.

Request Information

Please complete this form and we’ll contact you with more information about AMU. All fields except phone are required.

Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Validation message here
Ready to apply? Start your application today.

We value your privacy.

By submitting this form, you agree to receive emails, texts, and phone calls and messages from American Public University System, Inc. which includes American Military University (AMU) and American Public University (APU), its affiliates, and representatives. I understand that this consent is not a condition of enrollment or purchase.

You may withdraw your consent at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy, terms, or contact us for more details.

tags: