MNLF mobilizes Tausug fighters in Malaysia
Perseus Echeminada (The Philippine Star) - September 9, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) has activated some 4,000 foreign trained Tausug fighters embedded in Sarawak and Sabah in Malaysia, group spokesman Emmanuel Fontanilla said yesterday.

Fontanilla said the mobilization of the fighters was aimed to protect Tausugs, who he claimed have been the subject of a crackdown by Malaysian authorities.

He said the MNLF fighters were in addition to the Sulu Sultanate Army led by Agbimuddin Kiram, the brother of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III, leading the armed struggle to reclaim their ancestral land in Sabah.

MNLF founding chairman Nur Misuari had declared Sarawak and Sabah as part of the Bangsa Moro Republik (BMR).

Fontanilla however clarified the MNLF fighters in Malaysia will act only in self-defense against any attack from Malaysian forces.

Fontanilla declined to elaborate how the armed group, called the Bangsa Moro Army in Malaysia, was “activated,” but a source revealed at least five countries are supporting it with arms shipments that had arrived in the disputed territory.

“Just like what happened in the early ‘70s at the height of Mindanao conflict, Sabah and Sarawak will be the main base of the Bangsa Moro Army,” the source said.

The source said the MNLF in the early ‘70s had set up guerrilla and training camps in Sabah with the consent of the Malaysian government at the time.

The source added huge arms shipments were also sent to MNLF in Mindanao weeks before Misuari declared independence in Talipao, Sulu last Aug. 12.

“MNLF troops are now bearing modern assault weapons coming from foreign supporters,” the source said.

Fontanilla however denied the arms shipment, saying the reports were part of government propaganda.

AGBIMUDDIN KIRAM BANGSA MORO ARMY BANGSA MORO REPUBLIK EMMANUEL FONTANILLA FONTANILLA MINDANAO MNLF MORO NATIONAL LIBERATION FRONT NUR MISUARI SARAWAK AND SABAH
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