Indonesia deploys new peace monitors in Mindanao

Mindanao_MILF-310_207Bong S Sarmiento
KORONADAL CITY

INDONESIA has deployed a new set of peace monitors to Mindanao to help preserve the gains of the Southern peace process.

Al Haj Murad Ebrahim, chair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), thanked on Wednesday the Indonesian government and its people for sustaining their significant role to the International Monitoring Team (IMT).

Murad met the new Indonesian contingent, headed by Colonel Pribadi Jatmiko of the Indonesian Army, in Camp Darapanan, the MILF’s main headquarter in Sultan Kudarat town, Maguindanao.

“On behalf of the MILF and your brothers and sisters Bangsamoro, we convey to the Government of Indonesia and our beloved Indonesian brothers and sisters our deepest gratitude for the unfaltering commitment and support for the aspirations of the Bangsamoro for lasting peace, justice and self-governance in the ongoing peace process with the Government of the Philippines,” Murad said in a statement.

For more than four decades of the Bangsamoro struggle, Indonesia has been a staunch supporter to achieve the aspiration of the people in Mindanao for peace, equality, justice and freedom from oppression and tyranny, according to the MILF.

Murad said the deployment of the third batch of Indonesian peace monitors is a manifestation of the robust commitment of Jakarta to help in ensuring the success of the Philippine government — MILF peace process, which was capped by the signing of the historic and highly-celebrated Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) last March 27, 2014 in Malacanang, the seat of the Philippine government.

The nine-man Indonesian contingent will have a one-year tour of duty in Mindanao. They replaced the old batch which exited late last month.

Malaysia, which is also the third party facilitator in the Government of Philippines-MILF peace negotiations, heads the IMT, which also counts Brunei Darussalam, Norway and Japan as members.

Malaysian MGen Dato’ Abdul Samad bin Yaakub leads the 36-man IMT Batch 9.

Brunei has nine members to the IMT and two each from Norway and Japan.

The government and the MILF renewed the mandate of the IMT last January during the 43rd Round of Exploratory Talks in Kuala Lumpur.

The IMT, which monitors the ceasefire, civilian protection component, rehabilitation and development and socio-economic agreements between the government and the MILF, is instrumental in keeping down hostilities between the military and MILF forces.

There have been no recorded skirmishes between the government and the MILF in the past few years due to the works of the IMT, which is based in Cotabato City with offices in other parts of the island.

The Brunei Times
Fri, 11 July 2014

http://www.bt.com.bn/news-asia/2014/07/11/indonesia-deploys-new-peace-monitors-mindanao

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