Malaysia said Thursday it had agreed to extend a military monitoring mission in the southern Philippines, where the collapse of a peace deal has triggered weeks of violence.
The Philippines government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) rebels both asked for the 12 troops to remain in place while the Supreme Court deliberates over a proposed land rights pact, it said.
"Three months would be a reasonable amount of time to play our role," Foreign Minister Rais Yatim said according to his office, adding that personnel from Brunei and Libya were also deployed in the mission.
Malaysian forces have made up the bulk of the international team monitoring a 2003 ceasefire between the Manila government and the MILF.
It began pulling out its 40 troops stationed in four cities in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao in May because of lack of progress towards a peace deal, but reversed its decision earlier this month after a breakthrough.
However, the process hit another hitch when the Supreme Court barred the government from signing the deal -- which would give the MILF control of large swathes of land in an autonomous region -- following massive street protests.
The delay triggered weeks of intense fighting that has left 150 people dead and more than 280,000 people displaced.
"Malaysia has acceded to this request in order to give space for both sides to resolve the (land deal) which is now awaiting the Supreme Court judgement," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
"The extension of the (mission) would also allay apprehension caused by the (mission's) departure and to sustain the ceasefire currently in place, as well as to prevent further violation and escalation of violence," it said.
A decision is expected in the next few weeks but the Philippines government has said that in light of the violence the peace deal has been scrapped, and even if the Supreme Court gives the green light its fate is unclear.