Philippine Communist guerrillas end truce

Manila, Feb 1 (IANS): Philippine Communist guerillas' New People's Army (NPA) on Wednesday unilaterally terminated a ceasefire with the government following several armed clashes between the two sides.

The party's armed wing said the truce was off as President Rodrigo Duterte's government had not set free political prisoners and violated the truce with military operations, Efe news reported.

The NPA said in a statement that the end of the ceasefire would be effective from February 10.

But the rebel group said it was open to negotiations with the government to end the armed conflict which has claimed 30,000 lives over the past 45 years.

The Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, representing the Communist rebels, agreed in August 2016 in Oslo to make the unilateral ceasefire indefinite and promote amnesty for political prisoners in order to initiate peace talks.

Representatives of both parties began the third round of peace talks in Rome in mid-January where the Communists threatened to end the ceasefire due to the government's alleged violation of the bilateral agreement.

The truce broke down on January 21 when rebels and soldiers exchanged gun shots in southern Philippines, leaving a guerilla dead.

The NPA, a Maoist group created in 1969, consists of 6,000 fighters and has been declared a terrorist outfit by the US and the European Union.

Apart from the Communist rebels operating in several parts of the country, Islamist groups such as Abu Sayyaf or Maute Group also carry out violent campaigns in the south of the archipelago.



Title : Philippine Communist guerrillas end truce


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