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MILF, South Koreans fuse ranks to push peace process forward

 • 04:38 AM Sun Jan 24, 2016
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By: 
John Unson
A worker spruces up the peace monument South Korean peace groups constructed inside the main enclave of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front. (John Unson)

COTABATO CITY --- All is set for Sunday’s unveiling of a peace monument built by a South Korean entity in the main enclave of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in recognition of the group’s effort to put amicable closure to the Southern Mindanao conflict.MILF’s chieftain, Al-Haj Murad, said they have lined up various activities meant to highlight Sunday’s visit to Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat town in Maguindanao of Man Hee Lee of the Heavenly Culture, World Peace and Restoration of Light and his compatriot, Nam Him Kim, chairperson of the Seoul-based International Women’s Peace Group.The organizations the two South Koreans represent have actively been helping promote religious solidarity in countries with culturally-pluralistic communities.They have also been campaigning for peaceful resolution of armed conflicts in states troubled by secessionist, racial and religious divides.Members of the MILF’s central committee said Kim and Lee and their entourage will arrive at Camp Darapanan at about 1and00 p.m. Sunday, via the Maguindanao Airport in Datu Odin Sinsuat, Maguindanao.The two South Korean peace activists will also sign, along with Murad, a covenant binding them to mutually cooperate in pushing forward all peaceful means of addressing conflicts in Southern Mindanao.Lee, now in his late ‘80s, saw action as ayoung soldier during the Korean War, which started in 1948 and lasted until the early 1950s.It was his experience fighting North Koreans that encouraged him to focus on peace advocacy works after the war.Lee’s group has various peace-advocacy programs in dozens of countries around the globe.MILF officials were elated with Lee and Kim’s effort to reach out and help find peaceful solutions to the decades-old Mindanao Moro problem. We welcome all organizations, regardless of racial and religious identities, wanting to help us build lasting peace in Mindanao. Propagation of peace now is an international trend,” said MILF’s Muhaquer Iqbal, the group’s chief negotiator.Murad first had his initial engagement with the two South Korean peace advocacy groups when he attended in South Korea on September 18, 2014 a gathering in Seoul of world leaders and peace activists from different countries.

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