Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary general of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), called on the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and Manila to abide by a 1996 agreement that was meant to end conflict in the southern Philippines. An ongoing battle over the past three days has killed 18 people, including a child, and displaced thousands. Government forces dropped 250-pound bombs and fired rockets into the base of MNLF commander Habier Malik near Panamao town on the southern island of Jolo over the weekend after he fired mortars on their headquarters on April 13, killing a child that lived nearby. (Reuters, April 16)
Another rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), has agreed a deal with UNICEF, dubbed “Days of Peace,” that will allow the vaccination of almost 30,000 children on the militarized Mindanao. (AlJazeera, April 16)
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