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Sulu Sultanate makes fresh Lahad Datu threat

Publication Date : 28-01-2014


The Sulu Sultanate has warned of another armed intrusion into Sabah, East Malaysia, less than a year after fighting ended in Lahad Datu, Filipino media reported recently.

According to a January 22 GMA News Online report, Sulu Sultanate spokesman Abraham Idjirani said troops might be sent to Sabah if the sultanate failed to reclaim the state peacefully.

"That is the possibility, if cessation of hostilities will not be resolved," he was quoted as saying.

Sulu Sultan Esmail Kiram II also urged Filipino president Benigno Aquino III to support the sultanate's claims over Sabah, owing to "historic and moral obligations".

"It is now incumbent on Aquino to do what he has to do is our president reckons the inhabitants of Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Basilan, the Zamboanga peninsula and Palawan as citizens of the Philippines," he said.

He asked the Philippines to aid undocumented Filipinos in Sabah, whom he claimed were being arrested by local authorities here.

Esmail also appealed to the United Nations to help resolve the situation peacefully, and for the Organisation of Islamic Conference to help the sultanate's claim to Sabah.

In February 2013, more than 250 southern Filipino militants entered the Lahad Datu region illegally, laying claim to the state.

Under orders of then-Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III who died last year, the group initially negotiated with the Malaysian security forces before fighting broke out in March.

Eight police officers and two soldiers were killed in the conflict. Dozens of militants also perished.

Military operations were later taken over by the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM).


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