Muslim rebel chief sworn in as CM | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 23, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:10 AM, February 23, 2019


Muslim rebel chief sworn in as CM

The Philippines yesterday handed over the reins of a new Muslim-led territory to rebel leaders who waged a decades-long fight for autonomy, but are now tasked with securing peace and prosperity.

President Duterte personally swore in Murad Ebrahim, leader of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), as interim chief minister at a symbolic Manila ceremony.

It comes after voters decisively backed in January the founding of the so-called Bangsamoro region in the south, the culmination of a peace deal to end a separatist insurgency that had killed some 150,000 people since the 1970s.

Duterte and Murad have both said they hope the pact will help head off the rise of Islamist extremism in the country's Muslim-populated southern region of Mindanao.

Murad and his transition body will form a cabinet as well as pass laws until the temporary arrangement ends with the election of a regional parliament in May 2022.

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