Oct 222014
 

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/04/06MANILA1747.html#

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06MANILA1747 2006-04-21 06:49 2011-08-30 01:44 SECRET Embassy Manila
VZCZCXRO0226
OO RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHML #1747/01 1110649
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 210649Z APR 06
FM AMEMBASSY MANILA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0626
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RHHMUNA/CDRUSPACOM HONOLULU HI
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 MANILA 001747

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP, EAP/MTS, INR/TNC, S/CT
SECDEF/OSD/ISA/AP FOR ALLEN
NSC FOR MORROW

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/21/2016
TAGS: PINS PTER PREL KISL MY RP
SUBJECT: MILF WELCOMES REGULAR DIALOGUE WITH US EMBASSY

REF: 05 MANILA 5372

Classified By: Ambassador Kristie A. Kenney
for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

¶1. (S/NF) Summary: In a second meeting with poloffs, Moro
Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) Vice Chairman for Political
Affairs Ghazali Jafaar confirmed that MILF-GRP negotiations
for a political settlement will begin after both parties sign
a written agreement on ancestral domain, and noted that the
MILF is now also seeking the endorsement of imprisoned Moro
National Liberation Front leader Nur Misuari for the GRP-MILF
peace process. He explained that the MILF had already
established a “parallel government” within Muslim communities
throughout Mindanao, but cited needs for capacity building
for the governance of a future “Bangsamoro homeland” and for
the implementation of a comprehensive peace pact. These will
require assistance from the international community, he
emphasized. The MILF wants to expand the membership and role
of the Malaysian-led International Monitoring Team (IMT) once
an agreement is signed. Jafaar offered discreet assistance
in bringing to justice wanted terrorists and terrorist
financiers. Our dialogue can be useful in holding out the
prospect for US assistance in the wake of a GRP-MILF
agreement in support of peace and development, thereby
isolating more radical elements within the MILF. It will
remain important that the MILF continues to take steps to
distance itself from terrorism. End Summary.

———————
No Timetable for MILF
———————

¶2. (C) On April 18, poloffs met for the second time (reftel
described initial meeting in November 2005) with MILF Vice
Chairman for Political Affairs Ghazali Jafaar and MILF member
Abu Dubaya at the MILF’s Peace Negotiations Headquarters in
Sultan Kudurat City, Maguindanao Province, Mindanao. Jafaar
welcomed a regular dialogue with the U.S. Embassy and
expressed keen interest in receiving U.S. assistance for
post-conflict Mindanao. Jafaar identified the next steps in
the MILF-GRP peace process as the signing of a written
agreement on ancestral domain, after which negotiations would
begin for a political settlement to the decades-old conflict.

¶3. (C) Jafaar did not give any MILF timetable for this
process. According to Jafaar, the MILF will only sign a pact
that contains provisions acceptable to the MILF Central
Committee. In addition to ancestral domain, Jafaar cited
governance and “nationality” as subjects that still required
clarification.

—————————–
Seeking Misuari’s Endorsement
—————————–

¶4. (C) Jafaar also explained that the MILF is now seeking
the endorsement of former Moro National Liberation Front
(MNLF) leader Nur Misuari, currently on trial in Manila, for
the MILF-GRP peace process. Talks are underway between the
MILF and MNLF to arrive at “common solutions” to “issues”
that could affect future MILF-MNLF relations, he added.
While these discussions continue to focus on “unity,” an
organizational reunification is not possible, according to
Jafaar. Jafaar said the MILF’s main objective was to ensure
broad support for a peace agreement. (Septel will describe
the views of Cotabato City Mayor and member of the MNLF
Council of Fifteen Muslimin Sema on Nur Misuari and
developments within the MNLF.)

———————————
Need for International Assistance
———————————

¶5. (C) The MILF has already established its own “parallel
government” within Muslim communities throughout Mindanao,
Jafaar admitted, including representatives from all sectors
of society, such as business, farming, and fishing. Jafaar
noted that MILF leaders at all levels are now discussing how
best to prepare themselves for the transition from conflict
to peace. Capacity building for MILF leaders will be
critical to govern effectively a future “Bangsamoro

MANILA 00001747 002 OF 002

homeland;” the international community, including the USG,
should play a helpful role in this regard, he urged. Jafaar
also stressed the importance of having a “credible
international organization” to monitor the implementation of
an agreement after signature, pointing to what he described
as the GRP’s failure fully to implement its 1996 agreement
with the MNLF.

——————–
Expansion of the IMT
——————–

¶6. (C) Jafaar expressed satisfaction with Malaysia’s role
— especially the Malaysian-led International Monitoring Team
(IMT) — in the GRP-MILF peace process, noting that the IMT
had been instrumental in reducing the number of skirmishes on
the ground. Jafaar said that, once an agreement is signed,
the MILF Central Committee wants the IMT not only to remain
in Mindanao but to take on an expanded role — including
economic development — and expand its membership, such as
from the European Union.

¶7. (C) Jafaar also expressed support for the MILF-GRP Ad
Hoc Joint Action Group (AHJAG), headed on the GRP side by
Armed Forces of the Philippines Brigadier General Mohammad
Bin Dolorfino. He claimed that the AHJAG had already been
very successful in kidnapping cases and continues to play an
important role in reinforcing the MILF-GRP ceasefire. He
promised to provide a recent report detailing AHJAG’s
activities.

———————–
Will the MILF Splinter?
———————–

¶8. (C) When asked about the potential of the MILF
splintering over a peace agreement with the GRP, Jafaar
dodged the question, saying that “every organization that
practices democracy will experience disagreement.” According
to Jafaar, MILF members who have different opinions are
eventually “persuaded” through a process of discussion.

——————–
Targeting Terrorists
——————–

¶9. (S/NF) Poloffs noted that top Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) and
Abu Sayyaf (ASG) leaders had relocated from Central Mindanao
to the Sulu Archipelago in November 2005, and expressed the
hope that this was indeed at the instigation of the MILF
leadership. They strongly emphasized that the MILF still
needed to do more to demonstrate that even “elements” within
the MILF had cut their ties with terrorist organizations,
including financiers. Jafaar carefully noted this point, and
promised to provide discreet assistance.

——-
COMMENT
——-

¶10. (C) This second meeting was informal, relaxed, and
limited to only two members of the MILF leadership. Jafaar
was clearly interested in engaging in a regular ongoing
dialogue with the Embassy. We will proceed on an ad hoc
basis, and perhaps next expand to include representatives
from USAID and RSO, as long as we continue to see signs that
the MILF is further distancing itself from terrorism and
terrorist elements, and engaging in good faith negotiations
with the GRP. Our discussions can be useful in holding out
the prospect for US assistance in the wake of a GRP-MILF
agreement in support of peace and development, thereby
isolating more radical element

   

 

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