Sultan Kiram group call for ceasefire, Malaysia rejects PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 08 March 2013 11:54

The family of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III has called for a unilateral ceasefire in the standoff in Sabah.

In a press conference at the Kiram residence in Taguig, Sulu Sultanate spokesperson Abraham Idjirani also urged Malaysia to declare a similar halt in attacks.

This, as he stressed the need to “avoid more bloodshed in crimes” in the escalation of the standoff over the Sulu Sultanate’s claim in Sabah.

Malaysia last Friday launched an all-out offensive against Kiram’s followers who have staked out in the disputed territory since Feb. 9.

“The achievement of the Sultanate of Sulu obtained over the last few days cannot compare to the value of lives lost since the March 1st massacre,” Sulu Sultanate spokesperson Abraham Idjirani said.

The declaration of the ceasefire came hours after United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon urged an end to the violent standoff.

In a statement, the UN chief raised “concern about the impact this situation may have on the civilian population, including migrants” in Sabah.

This also comes amid Malaysia eyeing to extradite the Sulu Sultan.

An emotional Sultan Kiram meanwhile expressed thanks for the UN, noting that they have been writing to the international body about their concerns.

The group led by Raja Muda Kiram, however, will stay where they are and continue to take a defensive stand, Idjirani said.

Once Malaysia has heeded calls for a ceasefire, the Sultanate’s men will be fetched by their relatives, he added.

Malaysia on Thursday rejected calls for a unilateral ceasefire made by Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III in the standoff in Sabah.

“I told President Aquino they must lay down their arms immediately,” reports quoted Prime Minister Najib Razakas saying.

“They have to surrender their arms and they have to do it as soon as possible,” he added.

Kiram earlier called for a halt in attacks “avoid more bloodshed and crimes” in the escalation of the standoff over the Sulu Sultanate’s claim in Sabah.

In a press conference at the Kiram residence in Taguig earlier, Sulu Sultanate spokesperson Abraham Idjirani also urged Malaysia to declare a similar halt in attacks.

Related story: More Filipinos believe Sabah is Philippines’ territory

Malaysia last Friday launched an all-out offensive against Kiram’s followers who have staked out in the disputed territory since Feb. 9.

“The achievement of the Sultanate of Sulu obtained over the last few days cannot compare to the value of lives lost since the March 1st massacre,” Sulu Sultanate spokesperson Abraham Idjirani said.

But Malaysia Defense Minister Zahid Hamidi however refused calls for a ceasefire.

“Don’t believe the ceasefire offer by Jamalul Kiram. For the sake of Sabahans and all Malaysians, destroy all the militants first,” Hamidi said in his Twitter account.
Hamidi added: “Malaysia will not accept a unilateral ceasefire unless the militants surrender unconditionally”