200 Muslim rebels arrive to sign Philippine pact

Worn down by decades of fighting and failed peace agreements, Muslim rebel leaders were euphoric but cautious Monday before they sign a preliminary peace pact with the Philippine government aimed at ending one of Asia's longest-running insurgencies.


The agreement is the first major step toward a final settlement that grants minority Muslims in the southern Philippines broad autonomy in exchange for ending the violence that has killed tens of thousands of people and crippled development. Many of the rebel leaders interviewed said a lot of work lies ahead in convincing Filipino Muslims to accept a new administrative region. (AP)