USA – Moro Islamic Liberation Front: direct talks to combat terror in SE Asia
It has been a few years since I went on assignment to cover how the MILF or Moro Islamic Liberation front was cooperating with US led efforts versus terrorist groups like Jemaah Islamiah.
I interviewed Atty. Eid Kabalu, spokesman for the MILF back then who said as a mater of policy the MILF rejected the methods of extremists and condemned those groups engaged in the use of terrorist tactics.
Over the years since then – the MILF has participated in counter terrorism and anti-criminal campaigns in areas they have influence over. While some sectors in that area and other breakaway factions exist in that area overall the problems still exist but by and large the conditions for peace have improved ven as clashes and occasional fighting happens in the area between Government and Rebel forces but in general a cease fire has held and road towards peace is clear.
US envoy asks MILF to help hunt down JI bombers
Asianjournal.com, CA – COTABATO CITY, Philippines — Washington has asked anew leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to take part in the global war against terror by …
Gulf News, United Arab Emirates
US asks MILF for help tracking Abu Sayyaf
Radio Australia, Australia – The United States has asked a Muslim separatist group in the Philippines to help security forces track down radicals with links to a regional terror group. …” 
The Malaysian Government has brokered efforts that many hope will lead to a lasting peace – while the U.S., the EU, as well as Australia has been actively supporting development programs in the region in an effort to boost economic gains that could support peace efforts by investing in the local economies to create conditions that are hoped will lead to economic uplifting of people in the area.
There are though some groups who are opsoed to these efforts – among them sectors in both the rebel groups themselves and the military who for reasons that include ‘blood debts’ or personal conflict issues – common in civil war like conditions of insurgency need to be addressed if peace is to be found.
The U.S. talks with the MILF to find JI members and other criminal elements who take advantage of some zones of lawless villages in rural areas on the fringes of either MILF or Military control zones is something new. Direct talks like this build conditions towards peace – lets see – as one person told me any time groups talk there is less chance for conflict. Perhaps through efforts like this – and in – interaction there are common goals that may lead to those wanted for crimes being brought before the courts and justice being served.
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