MILF: Abu Sayyaf makes 2 demands for ICRC workers

The Abu Sayyaf has made two demands for the release of three abducted International Committee of the Red Cross workers, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said Saturday.

An article on the MILF website (www.luwaran.net) cited a “reliable source” who said these include the pullout of the military from Sulu.

It said a second was for the government to declare Jolo as an open port between Malaysia and Sulu to boast the economic development of the people of Western Mindanao.

The Abu Sayyaf abducted last Jan. 15 Mary Jean Lacaba, Eugenio Vagni and Andreas Notter.

Meanwhile, the MILF said it is doing everything to help free a Sri Lankan national who was kidnapped on February 13 in Maloong village in Lamitan, Basilan.

A senior MILF official based in Basilan admitted facing so many problems in dealing with the kidnappers who are identified with the Abu Sayyaf.

He said it is really difficult to deal with people, referring to the kidnappers, whose only consideration in the deal is the payment of the ransom money.

“The kidnappers have one track mind and they won’t listen to reason,” he said.

The official said the MILF is helping in the release of the victim for three reasons, which include:

  • Kidnapping is against the principles of Islam and policy of the MILF;
  • For humanitarian reason: Anyone in need of help must be helped; and
  • The Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) where Jaleel is affiliated is peaceful, helping the peace process, and it is affiliated with the United Nations.

Umar Jaleel arrived in Basilan in late 2008 and has been working with a Basilan based non-government organization (NGO) for the conduct of seminars on human rights in several communities.

NP is a nonpartisan unarmed peacekeeping force composed of trained civilians from around the world.

In partnership with local groups, NP members apply proven nonviolent strategies to protect human rights, deter violence, and help create space for local peacemakers to carry out their work.

The MILF said that aside from Jaleel, five others are being held hostage in Basilan province. They include three teachers from Zamboanga City, a nine-year-old child from Lamitan City and a lending firm worker from Maluso, Basilan province. – GMANews.TV

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Published in: on February 28, 2009 at 5:02 am  Comments Off on MILF: Abu Sayyaf makes 2 demands for ICRC workers  
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