Philippine president releases communist rebels prior to Norway peace talks
Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte came to power not only on a promise to wage a war against drug trafficking but also to negotiate an end to five decades of conflict with the Maoist New Peoples Army (NPA) that has killed more than 40,000.
|The NPA has been operating in the Philippines since 1969, as described by Wikipedia: "The New People's Army (NPA) (Filipino: " Bagong Hukbong Bayan) is the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP). It was formed and founded by Bernabe Buscayno A.K.A. "Commander Dante" on March 29, 1969. " The Philippine Army estimates that at the end of 2015 it had about 60,000 fighters. They are spread throughout rural areas of the Philippines. The U.S. State Department designates the NPA as a Foreign Terrorist Organization and it is also branded as a terrorist organization by EU Common Foreign and Security Policy. However, the Philippine government delisted the NPA as a terrorist group in 2011 making negotiations somewhat easier.|
"We will return home after the peace talks in Oslo. We were released from jail to take part in the peace talks and we are serious about it. The negotiations in Oslo are only one part of the process and there are other talks happening in other venues."