The peace process in the southern Philippines took a huge and improbable step forward. A year ago, ethnic Moro jihadists were going toe to toe with the Philippine military and its international partners in the city of Marawi, a provincial capital in the restive southern region of Mindanao. Today, moderate Moro separatist groups are celebrating Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing of what’s known as the Bangsamoro Organic Law, which will give ethnic Moros in the region substantially greater autonomy over their native homeland. The BOL, whose passage was repeatedly stalled by thorny political and security issues in the past, is the implementing legislation of a landmark 2014 peace agreement with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, the most powerful separatist group in Mindanao. The overriding goal is to take the air out of local jihadist recruiting efforts, while empowering and incentivizing moderate Moro groups like the MILF to keep their more radical brethren in check –
Daily Memo: Moving Toward Peace in the Philippines, Isolating Iran
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