Swedish Envoys Meet with MILF Leaders

Swedish officials met with ranking leaders of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Maguindanao, Philippines to personally relay their country’s proposal to send a 10-man contingent to become part of the Malaysian-led International Monitoring Team (IMT) in Mindanao.
Sweden’s Ambassador-at-large Lena Sundh and Swedish Ambassador to the Philppines Annika Markovic met with MILF chief Al Haj Ibrahim Murad on September 01 in Camp Darapanan in Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao. The two sides discussed about “demilitarization, demobilization and reintegration (DDR)” to become integral parts of the peace process in the south of Philippines.
The Swedish government is proposing for a 10-man peace monitoring group with two members assigned in IMT posts set up in the cities of Cotabato, Iligan, Davao, Zamboanga and General Santos.
Murad committed to accommodate three of ten peace monitors from Sweden.
However, the rebel chief clarified that the commitment requires the concurrence of the Philippines and Malaysian governments on the matter once the GRP-MILF peace talks resume this month in Kuala Lumpur.
Murad explained that sufficient time is needed to discuss DDR so that the concept would not be construed to the disadvantage of the MILF.
He said DDR is not offensive but without enough safety precautions, it would work against the MILF leading to self-destruction.
“It is paramount that all of us work for the legitimate interests of our people and this can be done in parallel and not crossing of paths,” Murad stressed.

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