Sweden to Boost Philippines’ Peace Talks with Muslim Rebels

Sweden will provide humanitarian and post-conflict assistance in peace talks aiming at settling a bloody ceasefire between the Philippine Government (GRP) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Muslim separatist rebel group in southern Mindanao region.
“We really welcome foreign support that would help us forge a final peace agreement” said Jesus Dureza, Presidential Peace Talks Adviser adding that it is like putting many umbilical cords to the peace process.
The Government of Philippines and rebel negotiators have recently approved Sweden’s entry into the International Monitoring Team but the move has yet to be formalized it due to the current deadlock in the peace talks over rebel territorial demands, said Rebel negotiator Mohagher Iqbal according to the Associated Press.
The International Monitoring Team (IMT) primarily safeguards a 2003 ceasefire and prevents occasional clashes from escalating and impeding the talks. It has a multi-national character led by Malaysian contingent, as third country facilitator. The team was joined by Brunei Darussalam and Libya to monitor the existing ceasefire agreement and report incidences of encounters between the GRP and the MILF.
Japan also joined last year to provide funding for economic projects. Moreover, the Government of Canada also wants to join the team to help improve governance in Muslim-majority areas of conflict.

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