Kirams declare ceasefire in Sabah
MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) - The Kiram family declared a ceasefire in the Sabah standoff on Thursday, March 7.
The ceasefire, which the Kirams declared at 12:30 pm Thursday, aims to "avoid more bloodshed and crimes" against Filipinos in the area, the family announced in a press conference in Taguig.
Abraham Idjirani, spokesperson of self-proclaimed Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, said the followers of the sultan will not take any action and will stay wherever they are now.
The family now hopes the Malaysian government will reciprocate the ceasefire declaration.
Once the Malaysian authorities declare a ceasefire, the fighters will be fetched by their families, Idjirani said.
He also said they will now wait for mechanisms by the United Nations, which on Thursday asked for a peaceful resolution of the crisis.
The Kirams' announcement comes two days after Malaysian security forces launched a bombing raid in Lahud Datu on Tuesday, March 5, where more than 200 armed followers of Raja Muda Agmibuddin Kiram have been holed up since February 9.
Idjirani then said they will not surrender and that they will fight to the end.
Malaysia launched its first assault on the area last Friday, March 1, which led to the killing of 28 people, including at least 8 Malaysian policemen.
Since then, Malaysian police and soldiers have imposed tight security measures in Sabah, prompting cries of discrimination from Filipinos. - Rappler.com