The president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, called Abu Sayyaf, an organization related to the Islamic State (IS), to end the violence in the south of the country and was willing to open a dialogue with the jihadist group to achieve peace, local media reported today.
"If they stop (violence), I am willing to go there, to their area, to speak," the president said last night in an act with the Armed Forces in Sulu, a Muslim majority region of the southern Philippines and one of the bastions of Abu Sayyaf
Duterte said that these jihadist groups are responsible for the latest deaths of soldiers in the areas of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi, in the Mindanao region, a drain that the president, as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, said that must stop.
"I can not allow my soldiers to die and be ambushed, something that has been going on for many years," Dutertel said.
The president pointed to the lack of education as the main cause of the armed conflict in the south and announced the delivery of 15,000 additional weapons to the infantry division charged with fighting the insurgents in Sulu, as well as scholarships and housing to improve the quality of life of the soldiers.
Duterte signed in July the Organic Law of the Bangsamoro, which implements the peace agreement reached in 2014 with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (FMLI), the largest Muslim rebel group in the country, which will govern that region in exchange for averting the armed struggle and give up their independence aspirations.
This law is seen as the solution to peace in the area that has lived through five decades of armed conflict and where militias of jihadist groups such as Abu Sayyaf, the Fighters for the Islamic Liberation of Bangsamoro (BIFF) or the Maute Group persist. they oppose any peace agreement.
Abu Sayyaf was founded in 1991 by a handful of ex-combatants of the war in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union and is credited with some of the bloodiest attacks in recent years in the Philippines and numerous kidnappings with which it is financed.