Philippines, Rebels Strike Peace Plan

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Philippines President Benigno Aquino (C) speaks during a press briefing at the Malacanang Palace in Manila on October 7, 2012. Aquino announced a deal had been reached with Muslim separatist rebels group Moro Islamic Liberation Front to end a decades-long insurgency that has left more than 150,000 people dead.

Syria, take note. A major Philippines rebel group will put down its guns after striking a peace deal with the government. For 30 years, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front has fought for the independence of the southern Muslim island of Mindanao. In the agreement with the nation’s president, Mindanao will now have its own governing entity—as long as the rebels no longer fight for an independent state. The national government will still control defense, foreign policy, and other major actions. The most important move, however, is the demilitarization of the rebels, who have an army of 11,000.