MILF hails EU for its humanitarian concern A 3-day tour by envoys indicates concern for civilians caught in the ongoing conflict and the urgent need for a political settlement


By Julmunir I. Jannaral, Correspondent

COTABATO CITY: The Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on Tuesday hailed the continuing aid and humanitarian concern of the 27-member nations of the European Union (EU) for the war victims in Mindanao.

Muhammad Ameen, head of the MILF secretariat and also a member of the MILF Central Committee, said the recent three-day tour of Mindanao by EU ambassadors is the clearest sign yet of their concern for the plight of the civilians in the ongoing conflict and the urgent need for a political settlement.

Ameen stressed that the Moro rebels is always for the negotiated political settlement of the Moro problem and the armed conflict in Mindanao but if there is no peace and settlement reached until this day, the Philippine government should be blamed, he added.

He cited the failed Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) that was supposed to be signed by both Moro rebels and government peace panels on August 5, and later declared by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional.

Ambassadors from the European Union started their three-day tour of Mindanao since Monday (December 15), to see for themselves how the European Commission’s assistance to war victims has been implemented.

They are Ambassadors Heikki Hannikainen (Finland), Christian Ludwig Weber-Lortsch (Germany), Rubens Fedele (Italy), Valeriu Gheorghe (Romania), Luis Arias (Spain), Peter Beckingham (United Kingdom) and Alistair MacDonald (European Commission). French Chargé d’Affaires Didier Ortolland represented the EU presidency.

Other officials from the Austrian, Czech, Dutch, Greek and Swedish embassies will also take part in the next visit, along with officials from the World Food Program, led by Stephen Anderson, country director, according to Ameen.

The group will meet with local government officials and civil society organizations and non-government organizations involved in peace and development in Cotabato City, Maguindanao, South Cotabato and Sarangani provinces.

Likewise, they are also scheduled to visit a number of evacuation centers in Maguindanao, where assistance provided by the European Commission is being implemented.

It can be recalled that in October this year, the European Commission agreed to provide some P440 million to help civilian victims of the conflict in Mindanao.

The assistance is used to cover emergency food distribution, drinking water and additional sanitation facilities, non-food relief items, basic shelter assistance, health care and psychosocial support, emergency support to livelihood rehabilitation and protection.

Taken together, the EC’s humanitarian, rehabilitation and development assistance for Mindanao has amounted to P7.9 billion over the last two decades, the MILF secretariat head also said.(ManilaTimes)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: