MANILA - The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) has warned it will carry out what it calls a “Kosovo style” struggle to “decolonize” southern Mindanao and some parts of Malaysia, including Sabah and Sarawak.
MNLF founding chairman Nur Misuari called on his followers to renounce armed struggle and adopt the Kosovar model by carrying out peaceful assemblies in attaining their political objective for self rule, spokesman Emmanuel Fontanilla said yesterday.
Fontanilla was referring to the 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence where participants unanimously declared Kosovo as independent from Serbia.
Although the legality of the declaration was disputed by Serbia, several countries recognized it.
Fontanilla said Serbia sought international validation and support for its stance that the declaration was illegal, but the International Court of Justice said the declaration did not violate international law.
“Armed struggle is already obsolete as proven in other countries. We will bring our cause to the people,” Fontanilla said.
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He said their struggle is now on the second phase after Misuari declared the independence of the Bangsa Moro Republik in Sulu in last year.
Fontanilla said the MNLF has conducted peaceful assembles in General Santos City and Davao City before hostilities broke out in Zamboanga City that eventually led to the filing of charges against Misuari and his men.
According to Fontanilla, peaceful assemblies are scheduled next month in key cities in Mindanao and Sulu. He said the result of the assemblies would form part of the documentary evidence to be submitted before the United Nations committee on decolonization.
“The MNLF is just expressing its desire to be an independent state and it will be the people who decide, it’s a war in winning the hearts and mind of the people,” he said.
Fontanilla said the MNLF is now taking the next step that will involve a series of assemblies for every province where Muslims, Christians and tribal groups will express their desire for self-rule.