Nation ( Leaderboard Top ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

Government, MILF agree to destroy landmines

MANILA, Philippines - Government peace panel secretariat director Ryan Mark Sullivan said yesterday that the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front have recently forged an agreement to jointly dispose and destroy landmines and other unexploded ordnance to push the peace process forward.

Sullivan said representatives of the government peace panel and the MILF signed the historic agreement during the continuation of the exploratory talks in Kuala Lumpur on May 5.

He said Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Rafael Seguis, government panel chairman, and Mohagher Iqbal, head of the MILF peace panel, signed the agreement.

“Datuk Othman bin Abd Razak, the Malaysian government facilitator, witnessed the signing,” Sullivan said.

It can be recalled that the two parties initialed the agreement on the creation of the Civilian Protection Component on Oct. 27.

A separate document on the terms of agreement of the international monitoring team (IMT) was also signed on Dec. 9 last year.

Nation ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1

Sullivan cited the role of the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action that coordinated with the non-government organization Philippines’ Campaign to Ban Landmines to help facilitate the forging of the accord on landmines. 

“Unexploded ordnance and landmines pose serious threats to the safety of civilians in conflict-areas in Mindanao,” Sullivan said.

He said that during the talks four non-government organizations – the Non-violent Peaceforce, the Mindanao Peoples Caucus, the Mindanao Human Rights Action Center, and the Moslem Organization of Government Officials and Professionals have agreed to be part of the IMT.

“They (NGOs) will form part of the International Monitoring Team that will focus in protecting civilians and other victims of armed conflict, especially the evacuees or the so-called Internally Displaced Persons,” Sullivan said.

He said the signing of the terms of reference of the IMT’s Civilian Protection Component (CPC) has been one of the major achievements in the ongoing peace process.

“The objective of the CPC is to establish a functional system and effective mechanisms for monitoring, verifying, and reporting of the compliance and non-compliance of the parties to their commitments under international and national humanitarian laws to protect the civilian population and properties against the dangers arising in armed conflict areas,” Sullivan said.

Nation ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
  • Follow Us: