Philippines, Maoists reach accord following Norway talks | News | DW | 26.08.2016
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Philippines, Maoists reach accord following Norway talks

The Philippine government and Communist guerrillas have agreed to an indefinite ceasefire as talks continue for a final peace deal. The two sides were in Oslo negotiating a truce in the five-decade conflict.

The Philippine government and Maoist insurgents inked an indefinite ceasefire deal Friday to facilitate peace talks aimed at ending one of Asia's longest-running guerilla conflicts.

"This is a historic and unprecedented event ... (but) there is still a lot of work to be done ahead," Manila' peace adviser, Jesus Dureza, said at a signing ceremony in Norway, which is mediating the talks aimed at ending a conflcit that's claimed more than 30,000 live since the late 1960s.

The two sides are slated to meet again in Oslo on October 8-12.

Oslo as interlocutor

Norway has acted as a facilitator for the peace process since 2001. Talks have been held on and off since 1986 to end the conflict.

Recently elected President Rodrigo Duterte says he wants to end guerrilla wars with both communist and Muslim rebels that have been hampering economic development.

The Communist's 3,000-strong New People's Army operates mainly in the east and south of the Philippines. At it peak in the 1980s, it commanded an army of 26,000 fighters during the 20-year dictatorship of the late Ferdinand Marcos.

The Communist guerillas have historically drawn support from those dissatisfied with economic inequality, especially in the countryside, and the Philippines' close alliance with the United States.

jar/rg (AFP, Reuters)

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