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Nonviolent Peaceforce opens protection site in Lanao del Norte (Philippines)
an article by Nonviolent Peaceforce

In October 2013, Nonviolent Peaceforce along with the Muslim Organization of Government Employees and Professionals (MOGOP) opened a protection site in Lanao del Norte. The site is slated to serve 25 barangays, or districts, within its vicinity. It first became fully operational in December.

click on photo to enlarge

The main purpose of this site is to provide a neutral open space for concerned protection parties and their stakeholders. Xarifa Sanguila (national civilian protection monitor in the Lanao field team) said this site would serve as an office for open community dialogue and as a meeting place for the community-based human rights (CBHR) monitors. Xarifa told us this multipurpose site could be used as an emergency or command center and as a neutral space for conflicting parties.

The site also aims to ensure the safety and security of the communities. Its goals are to strengthen the connections and information-sharing abilities among key actors in the peace process. The centre will be designated for receiving complaints regarding human rights and international humanitarian law violations.

Mubarak Adbulrahim, the barangay captain, said that the site was good for the community and would make the civilian population feel safer. One of the community leaders Acmad Dimacaling added that since NP took the lead in this initiative, their barangay was willing to help by cooperating as partners in this venture.


Question(s) related to this article:

What is the latest update on the peace situation in Mindanao?,

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The agreement of October 15 2012 has given rise to optimism, but many problems remain.  For a typical analysis see that of The Economist.

The Philippines' Southern Insurgency

It could be peace

Hopes grow for an end to a bloody and long-running insurgency

AFTER 16 years of on-and-off negotiations, the Philippines government and the main Muslim rebel group in the southern region of Mindanao, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, agreed to the outlines of a peace deal on October 6th. The two sides are due to sign it formally on October 15th. If it works, which is far from guaranteed, it could bring an end to more than four decades of fighting by armed Muslims seeking independence from the mainly Christian archipelago nation. The Mindanao conflict has killed perhaps 120,000 people and displaced 2m more. Mindanao is home to most of the country’s Muslims, who make up about 5% of the population of about 100m.

The agreement is not a final peace deal, but rather what President Benigno Aquino describes as “a framework agreement” and the front calls a “road map”. Yet both sides believe that it paves the way for what Mr Aquino hopes will prove “a final, enduring peace” in Mindanao.

The peace plan envisages the establishment of an autonomous Muslim area in Mindanao, called Bangsamoro, subject to a plebiscite there. The proposed Bangsamoro will have budgetary autonomy and a just share of revenues from the extraction of southern resources; its own police force; and sharia law for Muslims only. . ...more.

This report was posted on April 18, 2014.