Norway’s special envoy announces 26 days ceasefire in Philippine

Christmas peace was secured in Philippine when Maoist gorillas and the Philippine government agreed on a 26 days ceasefire from the 20th December to 15th January 2013 at a meeting in Hague. Norway was mediating the meeting, the first in 13 months.

According to a statement issued and signed by Norway’s special envoy Ture Lundh the two sides agreed to further talks on peace, human rights, land reform, and national industrialization, the statement said.

Jose Maria Sison, the exiled founder of the communist insurgent movement, who led the rebels delegation together with the rebels chief peace negotiator Luis Jalandoni, write on his website, that the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) during the meeting declared that political prisoners and detainees must be released in order to improve the climate for the work of the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and NDFP Negotiating Panels and to help facilitate the progress of the peace negotiations. A claim that November 2011 led to a break down in peace negotiations as the government rejected the demand.

The statement issued by Ture Lundh does not mention the imprisoned rebels or the demand that they should be released.

The two sides agreed to meet again early next year.

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