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Peace after 43 years? Filipinos renew hope for reconciliation

Rolex Dela Pena / EPA

Filipinos supporting a framework peace agreement react after hearing news of its signing in Manila, Philippines, Oct. 15. The Philippine government and the country's largest Muslim rebel group on Oct. 15 signed a preliminary peace pact aimed at ending a 43-year rebellion in the troubled south. The framework agreement calls for the establishment of a new autonomous region to be called Bangsamoro, which means Muslim nation, in the southern region of Mindanao by 2016.

Cheryl Ravelo / Reuters

Moro Islamic Liberation Front Peace Panel Chief Mohagher Iqbal, left, exchanges documents with Philippine government chief peace negotiator Marvic Leonen, right, after signing a peace deal at the Malacanang palace in Manila Oct. 15. Joining them to witness the signing are Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak, back left, Malaysian peace facilitator Dato' Tengku Abdul Ghafar Tengku Mohamed, center, and Philippine President Benigno Aquino, back right.

Rolex Dela Pena / EPA

Filipinos supporting a framework peace agreement use a smartphone to watch a broadcast of its signing in Manila, Philippines, Oct. 15.

Reuters reports -- The Philippine government and the country's largest Muslim rebel group signed a peace deal on Monday that serves as a road map to forming a new autonomous region in the south, a step towards ending more than 40 years of conflict.

President Benigno Aquino and Ebrahim Murad, head of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), held one-on-one talks before the signing of the landmark framework agreement.

"Much work remains to be done in order to fully reap the fruits of this framework agreement. We have commitments to fulfill, people to lead, and dreams to achieve," Aquino said before the signing ceremony at the Malacanang palace. "We are committed to enabling our partners to transform themselves to a genuine political party that can help facilitate the region's transition towards a truly peaceful and progressive place," he said. Read the full story.

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Karlos Manlupig / AP

Members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front shout "Allahu Akhbar," or God is great, as they gather at their stronghold at Camp Darapanan in Maguindanao province, southern Philippines, to coincide with the tentative signing of the agreement on Oct. 15.

Aaron Favila / AP

A Filipino Muslim woman flashes peace signs after hearing news of the signing of a preliminary peace pact during a rally outside the gates of the Malacanang presidential palace in Manila, Philippines on Oct. 15.

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