Filipino armed group refuses to move out of Sabah

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The Filipino armed group, Royal Sultanate, has refused to move out of a village in Malaysia's eastern state of Sabah despite pleas from both the Malaysian and Philippine governments to return to the Sulu archipelago on the Philippine side of the sea border. Jamalul Kiram III, a former sultan of Sulu and brother of the man Philippine provincial authorities regard as sultan, rejected a historic peace deal between the Philippines and Muslim rebels and said he would not ask his men to pull out from Sabah.

The peace deal was signed by the Philippine government and Muslim rebels Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) last October to end 40 years of conflict in the Philippine south. Jamalul group claims they were not consulted during the deal which covered areas under their Sultanate and therefore is "unfair deal" as it gives much of the control as "autonomous area" to Islamic rebels. His followers are demanding recognition from Malaysia as the rightful owners of Sabah and renegotiation of the original terms of the lease with a British trading company (under which Malaysia pays a token amount to the Sulu sultanate each year for the "rental" of Sabah).

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