Published: Thursday March 7, 2013 MYT 1:18:00 PM
Updated: Thursday March 7, 2013 MYT 3:54:49 PM
Lahad Datu: Self-styled Sulu Sultan calls for immediate unilateral ceasefire
Spokesman: 10 Sulu gunmen are dead; another 10 have been captured; four wounded
MANILA: The self-proclaimed Sulu sultanate has called for an immediate ceasefire to the standoff in Sabah following calls by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to end violence in Sabah and start holding dialogues.
“The Sultan (Jamalul Kiram III) (pix) is calling for a unilateral ceasefire of the sultanate of Sulu effective this hour, 12.30 in the afternoon of Thursday,” spokesperson Abraham Idjirani said, according to ABS-CBNnews.com.
He said this is out of respect to the call of the UN secretary-general to end the violence there. He said this is “in order to reciprocate the call of the UN to preserve lives.”
The spokesman had also told Reuters that 10 of the Sultan's followers at Lahad Datu had died during the confrontation with Malaysian security forces and that another 10 have since been captured.
Four other followers were wounded, according Idjirani.
"They will not come home, and would rather die fighting if cornered," he said of the remaining followers in Sabah, according to Reuters.
The UN chief had earlier expressed concern about the impact of the standoff on the civilian population, including migrants in the region.
Ban is closely monitoring the situation in Sabah and would like to see all parties engage in talks for the peaceful resolution of the issue, a UN statement said.
He also urged all parties to "facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance and act in full respect of international human rights norms and standards."
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