MNLF FLAG Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) members, led by its founder, Nur Misuari, display the group’s flag in rites held in Indanan town, Sulu province, sometime in July. The MNLF said Misuari declared an independent “Bangsamoro Republik” on Aug. 12, 2013, appointing himself chief of the Bangsamoro Armed Forces.
BY ROGER M. BALANZA
Is the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) no longer recognizing Nur Misuari, the founding chair of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)?
“This question has no answer. If there is an answer, it will be within the Secretariat of the OIC,” said Egyptian Ambassador Mahmoud Mostafa Ahmed Mohamed.
But the Ambassador, head of the eight-member delegation team to the OIC ministerial meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is sure of one thing: Misuari is not included in the list of those invited to attend the June 18 to 19 meeting.
“The invitations have been forwarded to some leaders of the MNLF. I have seen the list, and (it) did not include Nur Misuari,” Mohamed said at a press conference in Manila on Wednesday this week.
Misuari and his MNLF signed a peace pact with the government in 1996 leading to the creation of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Despite the pact, the Philippine government this year also signed a peace deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). An offshoot of the deal is the Bangsamoro Basic Law that will lead to the creation of the Bangsamoro autonomous government that would replace ARMM.
Misuari does not recognize the pact with MILF. He currently heads one of several factions of the MNLF.
Misuari has been on the run since his MNLF fighters seized Zamboanga City last year.
Mohammed said the Misuari issue is “very sensitive” and may be discussed in the coming ministerial meeting in Jeddah.
Before the birth of the MILF, Misuari and the MNL were at the center of Muslim Mindanao’s fight for autonomy and were recognized by the OIC as the voice of the Bangsamoro people. ROGER M. BALANZA