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Hague cites Northern Ireland as model for peace in Mindanao

Posted at | Updated as of 01/31/14 12:07 AM

MANILA - British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Thursday called on all stakeholders in the peace process in Mindanao, including the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), to embrace the peace deal since it is “the only way forward.”

In a press conference at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), Hague said “as a friend of the country, it is important for everyone and to all groups to support the peace agreement…We have our own long and difficult, but ultimately successful experience of a peace process in Northern Ireland, which brought about a tremendous change for the positive.”

Hague is referring to the Belfast Agreement or Good Friday Agreement.

The BBC describes the agreement as having “provided Northern Ireland’s divided society with a political framework to resolve its differences. A model of governance based on ‘parity of esteem’ has replaced the old divisive system of majority rule. The two political traditions of unionism and nationalism have agreed to proportional inclusion of each group in government…”

The government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed last week the last annex to the peace deal that will create a new political entity called Bangsamoro.

Immediately, however, clashes emerged between the BIFF, an MILF breakaway group, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

“We want to see you benefit from that [peace deal]. The best thing now is for everyone to really believe in the agreement made,” Hague said.