Traveling to Turkey to have talks in İstanbul and Ankara, Ebrahim also visited the IHH headquarters in İstanbul where he met with reporters.
A 40-year-long war between Philippines and Moro Islamic Liberation Front, which led to the killing of 120,000 people, recently ended and a peace agreement was signed between the parties. Following the 15-year-long negotiations, with interruptions, both parties reached an agreement as part of which an autonomous region will be established in the south of the country.
Ebrahim answered questions from reporters concerning the details of the peace agreement and the future of the Islamic movement in Philippines. He began his speech by offering his thanks to the Turkish media and IHH which hosted the meeting.
Being the second leader of Moro people so far in their 40-year-long struggle for freedom, Ebrahim said: “We had to continue our struggle for freedom, we began in 1973, until 2012. Thanks to the agreement we reached, we will be ruled by a government which will be elected by our people and a Constitution. Although we will not be a fully independent state, there will be a joint administration of Bangso Moro and Philippines.”
Upon questions from reporters concerning his life which is filled with freedom struggle, Ebrahim said: “I lost my mother at the age of one while my father died at the age of nine. I joined the military at the age of 21. Until then, I and my wife lived in a forest. I did not have a normal life until recently and it was a difficult life. Now, we are getting used to our new life with our people. Although my people fought for the Philippine Army in 1968, the Philippine state launched an ethnic cleansing against us with the influence of radical Christians. They first declared us radical terrorists and the Philippine government did not sit for any agreements with us but continued with the ethnic cleansing. Now, both we and the Philippine government want establishment of peace without any problems.”
“Turkey was very much helpful in the building of peace process”
Ebrahim said the Moro people had to be armed due to the genocide, violence, tyranny and mass killings they were subjected to.
“Despite the peace agreement, we are aware that the freedom struggle has not ended and the new era has its own methods of struggle,” he said.
“We are having talks with Muslim countries and brother countries in order for the development of our country, which has been ravaged by the 40-year-long war. Among the Muslim countries, Malaysia is the one which helped us most during the peace process and afterwards. In addition to Saudi Arabia and Japan, Turkey was also very helpful for us in the peace-making process. With the signing of the peace agreement, the war between the Philippine government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front has completely ended. Both the Philippine people and More people are very eager for peace and they are joyful. We call on the people of brother Turkey to extend their support to their sisters and brothers in Moro,” he added.
Concerning the peace process and afterwards, Ebrahim explained:” Certainly, there is need for some time to normalize. Several generations were raised by being subjected to violence in the 40-year-long war. We will altogether take the necessary steps to leave the effects of the war behind.”
With regards to the armed struggle of Moro Islamic Liberation Front, he said: “Since it is strictly banned in Islam, our armed forces never targeted civilians. We told our troops that they will never hit women, children and old people and never set houses on fire. We acted in line with the Islamic rules and universal human rights. In this way, we invalidated the claims of those who labeled us as terrorists.”